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St. Louis Cardinals: Rick Ankiel Book Review

Oct 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detailed view of St. Louis Cardinals hat and glove in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves in the ninth inning at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Cardinals 2-0.
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pMandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detailed view of St. Louis Cardinals hat and glove in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves in the ninth inning at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Cardinals 2-0.

Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Ankiel[1] released a book at the beginning of the baseball season, and it’s quite good.

Depending on your age, you’ve at least heard the name Rick Ankiel before. If you’re a little more familiar, you’ll recall him as a member of the St.

Louis Cardinals. Another degree deeper and the first thing that likely comes to mind is that Ankiel couldn’t throw strikes when he was on the mound and eventually came back to the bigs as an outfielder. That’s about the depth of knowledge that I had on Ankiel when I picked up his book, but I was definitely intrigued to hear what it’s like to have the yips from a very well known source.

More from Call to the Pen

It’s safe to say that the former Cardinal doesn’t hold anything back, opening up discussions on his home life growing up, how he viewed himself coming up through the minor leagues, pitching one game drunk in order to try and keep “The Thing” at bay, and just his general happiness levels at each step of his one-of-a-kind journey.

Ankiel (with the help of Tim Brown[2] of Yahoo! Sports) lays out the life that he has led thus far, and the honesty that comes across is truly remarkable. What really stood out for me, however, is the emotional journey that you go on with the lefty.

His dad is not talked about in glowing terms by any means, which elicits tons of empathy for a younger Ank. He deals with death on multiple occasions, talks to former players that have also had the yips, details how much his not being able to locate his pitches screws with his mind not only while he’s pitching but how it consumes his life year-round. When he begins training to be an outfielder in the minors, his sense of relief really comes through the pages.

Next: Gallo Drawing Specific Comparisons[3]

Rick Ankiel is easy to root for in this book, and he has a story that nobody else can tell.

It’s definitely worth picking up and breezing through.

You can order it from Amazon[4] or from an indie bookseller near you[5]!

References

  1. ^ Rick Ankiel (www.baseball-reference.com)
  2. ^ Tim Brown (www.baseball-reference.com)
  3. ^ Next: Gallo Drawing Specific Comparisons (calltothepen.com)
  4. ^ Amazon (www.amazon.com)
  5. ^ near you (www.indiebound.org)

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