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I was at the 1999 Futures Game at Fenway. The scorebook had MLB comps for each player (e.g. Calvin Pickering=Mo Vaughn). For Ankiel the comp was...Sandy Koufax. No pressure kid. I'll never forget watching that 2000 playoff game, it's probably the most bizarre thing I've ever seen on a baseball field.
I believe he was the first player younger than me in MLB and now he's retiring. #### I'm old.
He'll have a great year in the front office and then mental issues will force him out of the game at a young age.
I'll insist until my dying day that it wasn't mental. These guys who suddenly start throwing the ball to the backstop all "coincidentally" end up having their elbows reconstructed. Ankiel came back to have better control than he'd ever exhibited in his life in 2004, and it deserted him the following spring...after the return of discomfort in his elbow.
People always spoke extremely highly of him with the Nats. I expect he'll make a good coach.
He played parts of 11 seasons...will his story get him on the Hall ballot when he's eligible?
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