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  • Ankiel

    This is one of the most amazing stories in sports history, I think.

    Guy comes up as phenom pitcher. Looks like next Sandy Koufax. Then throw the ball to the backstop 4,000 times in a row. Goes to minors. Gets hurt. Gets written off about 1200 times. Returns to the majors as a pitcher. Then decides he'd rather be a hitter. Goes back to minors. Returns to majors and wins the starting center-fielder job.

    This doesn't happen that often, does it? I mean, other than a Robert Redford movie.

    It really is incredible when you think about it.
    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
    --Albert Einstein

  • #2
    Madyaks will be along shortly to tell you it's not a bid deal and that any number of Atlanta Braves could have done it.

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    • #3
      I agree
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      • #4
        Originally posted by kennyboyerfan View Post
        This is one of the most amazing stories in sports history, I think.

        Guy comes up as phenom pitcher. Looks like next Sandy Koufax. Then throw the ball to the backstop 4,000 times in a row. Goes to minors. Gets hurt. Gets written off about 1200 times. Returns to the majors as a pitcher. Then decides he'd rather be a hitter. Goes back to minors. Returns to majors and wins the starting center-fielder job.

        This doesn't happen that often, does it? I mean, other than a Robert Redford movie.

        It really is incredible when you think about it.
        The list of pitchers that have transitioned to hitters at the big-league level is very short. Ruth. Ankiel. Smokey Joe Wood, who blew out his arm and transitioned to a kind of average ML outfielder. If you go back to the 19th century, John Montgomery Ward, who was an outstanding pitcher (threw baseball's 2nd perfect game) but eventually became a shortstop and made the Hall of Fame. There might be more if you do go back to the 1800s. But for the "modern era", that's about it.
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        • #5
          IN?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by backstop View Post
            Madyaks will be along shortly to tell you it's not a bid deal and that any number of Atlanta Braves could have done it.
            and that he does PEDs.
            Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

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            • #7
              Happen often? No

              Unlike I guess the entire rest of the world I find it to be less of a "miracle" than everyone else.

              I think it doesn't happen because if you are pitcher you will be sent down and they will work you forever to try to get you to come back as a pitcher. What happened to him was pretty rare the whole mental issue thing, and I guess more rare to give up on pitching all together and want to come back as an outfielder.
              I guess what I am saying is that you might see it more if more pitchers tried, I just think most never try. Many pitchers hit obviously in HS and later in college too, but how many ever fail so bad that they realize they don't want to try to pitch anymore and they go back to being an offensive player.

              Does this mean I don't think it's an awesome story? No. I just don't think people try enough to make it seem he is Babe Ruth or something.
              Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

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              • #8
                Ruth?

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                • #9
                  I did that in little league baseball. Big deal.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by madyaks View Post
                    Happen often? No

                    Unlike I guess the entire rest of the world I find it to be less of a "miracle" than everyone else.

                    I think it doesn't happen because if you are pitcher you will be sent down and they will work you forever to try to get you to come back as a pitcher. What happened to him was pretty rare the whole mental issue thing, and I guess more rare to give up on pitching all together and want to come back as an outfielder.
                    I guess what I am saying is that you might see it more if more pitchers tried, I just think most never try. Many pitchers hit obviously in HS and later in college too, but how many ever fail so bad that they realize they don't want to try to pitch anymore and they go back to being an offensive player.

                    Does this mean I don't think it's an awesome story? No. I just don't think people try enough to make it seem he is Babe Ruth or something.
                    Actually, I think he accomplished two minor miracles. The first was coming back to pitch in the majors after suffering a bout of Steve Blass disease. I don't think many pitchers ever recover from that. It didn't last long, but he made it. Then, as kah pointed out, not many pitchers become an everyday player.

                    I'm not sure he gets enough credit for what he's accomplished. If he were a Yankee, they'd be putting on Broadway plays about him.
                    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
                    --Albert Einstein

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Guppy View Post
                      I did that in little league baseball. Big deal.
                      "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
                      --Albert Einstein

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kennyboyerfan View Post
                        Actually, I think he accomplished two minor miracles. The first was coming back to pitch in the majors after suffering a bout of Steve Blass disease. I don't think many pitchers ever recover from that. It didn't last long, but he made it. Then, as kah pointed out, not many pitchers become an everyday player.

                        I'm not sure he gets enough credit for what he's accomplished. If he were a Yankee, they'd be putting on Broadway plays about him.
                        You might be right.

                        I wonder how many have tried.
                        Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kennyboyerfan View Post

                          I'm not sure he gets enough credit for what he's accomplished.
                          Around here, it is nauseating.

                          lock 'er up.

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                          • #14
                            It is beyond incredible.

                            What might he have accomplished if he had never pitched?

                            Kid has more talent in his little finger than all of you have in your entire bodies.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by madyaks View Post
                              You might be right.

                              I wonder how many have tried.
                              Not many, I'm guessing. Look, most major-league pitchers were probably one of the best athletes on their high school teams, and I'm guessing most hit the ball pretty well. Then they get to the majors and are lucky to get two hits out of every 10 at-bats. For him to reach the top level in his sport as both a pitcher and a hitter is phenomenol.
                              "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
                              --Albert Einstein

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