Rick Ankiel Cardinals jersey
Jersey Date of Expiration: 2001 and then again in 2010. He is three teams removed from being on the Cardinals.
This Cardinals jersey was clearly bought when Ankiel was a young stud pitcher with a ceiling as high as Randy Johnson and Pedro. In his first season, when he was 20, he went 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA (10th in the NL), and 194 K’s (7th in the NL) in only 30 starts. That season he was 2nd in the NL in K’s per 9 (9.98) and only allowed 7 hits per 9 (which was second to only Chan Ho Park…yes, Chan Ho freaking Park). Then somehow the ghost of Chuck Knoblauch reared its ugly head during the NLDS against the Braves. Ankiel started Game 1 and faced 8 batters, had 35 pitches, gave up 4 walks, 4 earned runs, and threw 5 wild pitches. In Game 2 of the NLCS he lasted only one inning as 5 balls got past his catcher (only 2 were considered wild pitches) on 20 pitches. He got one more shot in Game 5 but once again he was a dumpster fire as he walked 2 and threw 2 wild pitches in facing only four batters. Once this went down Rick Ankiel’s career as a pitcher was about as successful as Crystal Pepsi.
Any time you buy an authentic/stitched jersey you run the risk of paying some decent coin for a player that may not finish his career on that team. When that player leaves your team you break sports jersey norms when you continue to wear that jersey. When that player is a failed pitcher and turns himself into an average at best hitter you definitely lose the ability to wear his jersey.
So far Ankiel has made $8,732,500 in his career.
His nickname is either Hammerin’ Ank or Rick the Stick. That’s weak.
Despite not being able to throw a strike Rick is doing OK for himself as he is married to an ex-Dolphins Cheerleader.
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