R.A. Dickey winds up for new season in Toronto after life-changing trip to India

New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) works in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Saturday, July, 14, 2012 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John bazemore)

New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) works in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Saturday, July, 14, 2012 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John bazemore)

NASHVILLE - In the last 14 months R.A. Dickey has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, facilitated humanitarian efforts in Mumbai, India, and spun his knuckleball so effectively that he not only earned a Cy Young Award but a two-year, $25 million contract extension from his new team, the Toronto Blue Jays.

Yet, the globe-trotting right-hander insists that he’s most in his element when he’s hiking around Nashville with his wife and kids or playing a round of golf.

“Especially in the fall. That’s a beautiful time when the leaves are changing,” says Dickey, whose full beard and soft-spoken demeanor reverberate with down-home simplicity. “Before I had the kids I really enjoyed playing golf in the fall, right at the end of the day as the sun was setting. I just loved it.

“Over the last 10 or 11 years it’s about getting outdoors and just having a chance to be with my family. We especially enjoy hiking around Percy Warner Park. My wife, Anne, or I will put littlest one (son Van) in the Ergo (baby carrier) and we carry him in front like a little papoose. Next year, he’ll be big enough to (walk) it on his own.”

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