(* - photo from the AP)
If you all have read my blog enough, I sometimes tend to very snarky and critical of athletes and celebrities. Heck, I even took Tony LaRussa to task in Spring Training over his drunken driving incident.
But rarely, do I ever stand up and applaud an athlete.
Today, I will and so proudly.
Rick Ankiel made a dramatic return to the major leagues after nearly leaving the game due to his troubles on the mound. After a three year absence, he's back -- this time as a reserve outfielder.
I remember very well his struggles in the playoffs of a few years ago against the Atlants Braves, and then he coming back the following season -- struggling and forgetiing how to throw a baseball.
In a scene of out a movie, he hit three-run homer in his first game back in the major leagues, helping Joel Pineiro and the Cardinals to a 5-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Thursday night at Busch Stadium.
I saw the replay on Sportscenter -- one powerful moment.
In a summer of scandals, doping, and craziness, Ankiel's hit was something to believe in, not only as a fan, but a person. He's come back and matured, plus battled some demons, and more importantly, didn't give up on his dream.
I credit the St. Louis organization and especially their fan base for sticking with him, as sports is a very cruel business. Granted, Ankiel always had talent; however, for a team to be loyal to someone in that fashion is so very rare.
It shows if you can put your mind into something, you can overcome...