Thursday, July 19, 2012
Birthday Today - Rick Ankiel
Maybe the most tragic baseball career ever. He was going to be the next Sandy Koufax. Then he blew up in the most spectacular fashion in the 2001 playoffs, throwing, if memory serves, five wild pitches in a single inning. Then he fought his way back to the bigs as an outfielder and power hitter. In 2008 for the Cards he hit 25 homeruns and looked like he would become a star. Then, for a time, he couldn't hit the curve ball. He's managed to hang on, but is a part-timer only, now with the Washington Nationals. He turns 33 today. When he was 20, he struck out 194 batters in 175 innings, going 11-7. It looked like he was going to the Hall of Fame.
Again, tragic. Rick Ankiel is also probably my favorite player ever. Sports are funny that way.