Friday, August 10, 2007

The Hero File: The Return of Rick Ankiel...



(* - 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...

1 comment:

Carmaleen said...

I am a St. Louis Cardinals fan and I give a lot of credit to the St. Louis Cardinals organization for sticking by Rick Ankiel and his problems. This just is a classic example of one overcoming their obstacles and making their dreams come true. If it hadn't been for his determination I don't know what might have happened to his career, could have been completely out of baseball. I wish Rick the best and am glad he is back because he is now more important than what has been happening in Major League Baseball this year with all of the injuries, scandals, etc.

The home run he hit last night against the San Diego Padres was one magical moment that I will never, ever forget.

Precious moment Rick Ankiel.

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