Rick Ankiel Receives Call-Up as Outfielder
Several years ago, Rick Ankiel was considered one of the hottest young up-and-comers in the league, as a starting pitcher for St. Louis. His control problems, which exploded in the Cardinals' '00 NLDS vs. the Braves, continued into '01, and eventually caused him to be sent down to the lowly Rookie League. He did better there, and was called back up in '04 to make a few relief appearances, before heading back down to the minors. In '05 he made the surprising announcement that he was switching to the outfield. He's been quite successful in his new position, leading the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with 32 HR this season, and ranked 2nd with 89 RBI.
Today the Cardinals announced that the 28-year old Ankiel would be a starting OF against the Padres. He was always considered a decent hitter as a pitcher, and has proved it as a minor league outfielder. Let's see if he can hang in the majors.
Back in the day, I was so thrilled to have pulled two great Ankiel rookie year cards; his 99 SP Top Prospects Chirography Auto and 99 Ultimate Victory Parallel. When he was sent down, these cards became commons. I've been holding on to them all these years with the hope that he would make a comeback. The Cardinals could really use the boost, with their subpar 52-59 record. I wish him luck in tonights game; he'll need it against the major league ERA leader Chris Young!
There seems to be some increased auction interest in his 2nd year 00 SPx Auto #'d 1500. There are two of them ending in 2 days that are currently at $16.50 TAC each.