Friday, February 12, 2016

Cardinal Sauce: 2/12/16

2000 Fleer Showcase Consummate Prose #CP11 Rick Ankiel

     Richard Alexander Ankiel was born in Fort Pierce, Florida on July 19, 1979. The Cardinals drafted Rick out of high school in the 1997 free agent draft. Rick spent seven seasons (1999-2001, 2004, and 2007-2009) with the Cardinals. Ankiel began his career as a pitcher. He appeared to be on the fast-track to a promising career, winning 11 games and striking out 194 batters during the 2000 regular season. Unfortunately, the pressure became to much for Rick to bear during the 2000 NLCS. He posted a horrid 20.26 ERA, throwing 4 wild pitches in 1.1 innings of a crucial game for the Cardinals. The Cardinals lost the series and Rick was never the same. He pitched a few games in 2001 and 2004, but it was clear that Rick's career as a Major League pitcher was over.

     In 2007, Ankiel made a comeback as an outfielder. Over the next three seasons, Rick bashed 47 home runs and drove in 224 RBI. Once again, Rick suffered turmoil in his career. Surrounded by implications of PED use, the Cardinals granted free agency to Ankiel after the 2009 season. He played four more seasons in the Major Leagues, but never reproduced the run production that he displayed in St. Louis. He spent his last season, 2013, with the New York Mets, but was released on June 11, 2013.


  1. I still blame LaRussa for his downfall. I know the pitching staff was decimated with injuries during the 2000 playoffs, but there had to be another option to start that game. Matheny being hurt did not help either.

  2. It's hard to say. I think he was pushed too much, but were there any signs that he was going to blow up like that? He was great during the regular season. The only thing I really blame LaRussa for is the 2nd game he sent Ankiel out there. Rick blew up in the NLDS, but that could have been chalked up to a bad outing. When he blew up in the NLCS, he shouldn't have been trotted out for a third game.