Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Nothing About Pitching?

There was a Cardinals card from 2017 that I still really wanted to add to my collection, but I had not been able to find it for a price that I was willing to pay.  Last year's Archives set was loaded with Cardinals players, even if some of them were not pictured with the team on their card.

I have already picked up Edgar Renteria.....

and Joe McEwing.....

and Brian Jordan.....

and Jim Edmonds.  

That's a pretty good group of modern Cardinals players.  There were some older Cardinals too, like Tito Francona and Wally Moon, but they really do not fit in with this post.  I am on modern players at the moment.  

So, the last Archives autograph that I was missing belonged to former Cardinals pitcher/outfielder Rick Ankiel.  Beyond finding the card at the right price, this was also an exchange card.  Initially, after the Archives product was first released last year, this card was inexpensive.  However, I just do not like guessing about whether Topps is actually ever going to send out the card, or I am going to get a Henry Owens card as a replacement.  The Ankiel card is on a 2001 Topps designed card, like the rest of the former Cardinals, it just seems to be missing something important.  

Front of the card....

The jersey number inscription on the autograph is a little odd looking with the giant 2 and smaller 4, but always nice when the player signs more than just their name.  The front of the card obviously shows Ankiel during the second half of his career while he was playing the outfield.

Back of the card....

No pitching stats, just Ankiel's numbers as an outfielder.  Not to take anything away from Ankiel's career, going back to the Minors and working your way back up as a position player is awesome, but I would have loved to see an Ankiel card as a pitcher.  Especially with the 2001 card design, he might have been in the Minors at the point, or maybe even on the disabled list, but he was still a pitcher.

Ankiel returned to the lower Minors to work on transitioning to the outfield in 2005.

It's really a shame that there is little left of Ankiel's time as a pitcher.  MLB has essentially erased all videos of him pitching in their repository of published clips on YouTube outside of the playoff game against the Braves where he threw five wild pitches in an inning.  He was a phenomenal pitcher.  I have often wondered how far some of the early 2000s Cardinals teams would have gone with Ankiel pitching at a similar level as he did in 1999 and 2000.

It would have been fun to watch.

While I still want that Ankiel pitcher card, I still have an appreciation for Ankiel the outfielder.  If you are a fan of the game, and appreciate a good defense, their are some great highlights of Ankiel throwing from the outfield.  It's pretty spectacular.  


  1. Damn. That throw was insane.

  2. So long Mike Matheny! It is nice to see Cardinal Nation in panic mode!

    1. I got home from vacation yesterday afternoon and went to bed early. Woke up at 3 because my daughter was crying, looked over at my phone and saw all kinds of alerts. Got the little one settled down and back to sleep in 10 minutes, but could not go back to sleep. Excited for a new start.

      Speaking of which, your Reds have been looking good.