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Rick Ankiel is why we love baseball - A Hunt and Peck

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Admit it.

Florida Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

We love baseball for many reasons. One reason could be something like this:

Another reason could be something like this:

And that is totally fine! The thrill of the big moment, the possibility of seeing something incredible, the strange sense of pride from a favorite team being successful - all are wonderful reasons to enjoy something.

But baseball is a long season and while those reasons are all enticing, are they really enough to keep a fan around for months of the year, year after year? There must be more, right?

Seven months of the year, every single year, is a long time to dedicate to something. During that time, whether we realize it or not, we become deeply invested in these people we have never met. Maybe the joy of their triumphs is why we stick around. While watching these people that play such a big part in our lives succeed on a baseball level is fun, watching them succeed on human level is more so.

Rick Ankiel is one of those stories. He was a player that captured our hearts less because of baseball, though baseball is how we came to know him in the first place, and more because of what he represented to us as a person, as someone who never game up and through determination and hard work, overcame. This is not more evident than in his MLB debut as an outfielder:

About fifty things needed to go exactly right for that moment to happen. Baseball rules. (It is why deep, deep down somewhere you pretend doesn't exist, you truly enjoy Eric Thames mashing all the dingers.)

If you are interested in learning more about Rick Ankiel and his story, check out his new book, The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life.

For Baseball's Rick Ankiel, Losing His Pitching Ability Led To An Unusual Comeback | NPR

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