Rick Ankiel, Six Years Later

As we await tonight's hopefully-not-rained-out NCLS Game 1, we think back to 2000, when the Cardinals and Mets last met under these circumstances. This is known, of course, as the Rick Ankiel series, when the blistering lefthander, whose curveball was one of the most gravity-defying things we had ever seen (along with Skip Bayless), melted down in the most gruesome way possible, essentially ending his career and making Tony LaRussa hesitant to ever count on anyone under the age of 30 not named Pujols again.

We've written about our affection for Ankiel before, even going so far as to incorporate him into our wardrobe. He is a tragic story, and one of those times where you just hope a kid gets his head together, regardless of baseball or anything else.

That said, when we're wearing our Ankiel jersey out tonight to watch Game 1, we fully expect to have things thrown at us, and we can't say we're not really asking for it.

Saying Goodbye To Rick Ankiel Once Again [Deadspin]
Rick Ankiel, Ex-Pitcher [The Hardball Times]