Monday, August 28, 2017
Signed Beckett from 17 years ago
Going through a few boxes of my old stuff that I recently rescued from my parents attic, there were a few items I was hoping I’d across.
This is definitely one of them.
While I rarely send anything beyond cards in my TTM requests, here’s a Rick Ankiel Beckett I sent when he was the hottest prospect in baseball in 2000.
Ankiel was kind enough to sign and return this for me. I’m not sure if I sent it to spring training or the Cardinals – it was over 17 years ago after all. However, I remember being thrilled to get it back, and I definitely hung it in my room proudly.
Here’s a closer look at the signature.
Before he famously developed the yips, Ankiel was a huge pitching prospect. He delivered in his first full year in the Majors in 2000, going 11-7 with a 3.50 ERA and 194 Ks in 175 innings. And he was only 20! Unfortunately, that postseason is where it all fell apart for him and deprived us of a promising young lefty for years to come.
To his credit, Ankiel returned as an outfielder and even belted 25 HRs in 2008. He could have easily let the yips define his career, but he overcame them and spent seven years in the Majors as a position player. To me, that’s a success, and a true measure of character.