Rick Ankiel – 2008 UD First Edition
December 7, 2010
Hey, This Is Easier Than Pitching!
First, muchas gracias to SpastikMoose for some needed cards for my sets. I will be updating my on-line want list soon for your dining and dancing pleasure.
I assume you’ve not been living on a rock, or in the bottom of Mono Lake (which, if so, means that you’re filled with arsenic, so…go away!) so you know about Ankiel and his conversion from pitcher to hitter. What’s surprising is that there is usually a few players in each generation who do this, but most are minor players in the whole scheme of things. Bobby Darwin or Mel Queen weren’t stars or anything close to that. Scott Ruskin converted in the minors. I already covered Adam Loewen as he tries to make it back to the bigs.
There are those who go the other way, such as Kenley Jansen and Tony Pena, Jr. Players will do anything to stay in the game. But Jansen aside, most of those guys were pretty much fringe players.
Ankiel, though, became huge news due to his very public meltdown (and subsequent incurable Steve Blass disease) and his re-emergence as a slugger of some repute. His hype is probably larger than his actual ability, but he’s a decent enough player for a platoon / fourth OF role for a while.
But I liked this shot because you can see that he has some joy in playing the game. Much like here:
Did he know that he’d be in the bigs the season after this shot was taken?
I think he does!