Guests will enjoy cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres before viewing an intimate Q&A session with MLB legend Rick Ankiel. The program will be moderated by former ESPN writer, Jayson Stark.
About Rick Ankiel:
In 1999, he was named the Minor League Player of the Year by both Baseball America and USA Today. He was also Texas League All-Star pitcher, Double-A All-Star starting pitcher, Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year and Baseball America First Team Minor League All-Star starting pitcher.
Ankiel made his MLB debut in 1999 in Montreal against the Expos He pitched his first full season in 2000 at the age of 20 (second youngest in the league), posting an 11–7 record, a 3.50 ERA (tenth in the league), and 194 strikeouts (seventh in the league) in 30 games started. Ankiel threw a 94- to 97-mph fastball, a heavy sinker, and a fall-off-the-table curveball that was his main strikeout pitch. He struck out batters at a rate of 9.98 strikeouts per nine innings, second in the league, and allowed only 7.05 hits per nine innings. He came in second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. He received The Sporting News Rookie Player of the Year Award.
In 2005 he switched positions and became an outfielder. Only 12 players in MLB History have debuted as a pitcher and then switched to be a position player. The last MLB player to do it was in 1947. Rick played all three outfield positions. He has suited up for the Cardinals, Royals, Braves, Nationals, Astros and Mets. Rick was known for his defense and had arguably the best arm in all of baseball. Manager Bobby Cox was quoted saying he had the best arm he had ever seen in 50 years in the game.
Only two players in MLB history have pitched 20 innings in a season, hit 50 home runs in their career, and was the starting pitcher of a playoff game & homered in a playoff game, Rick Ankiel and Babe Ruth.
Rick is a Florida native and attended Port St Lucie High School where he went 11–1 with a 0.47 ERA during his senior season, striking out 162 batters in 74.0 innings pitched, and was named the High School Player of the Year by USA Today in 1997. He was also a first-team high-school All-American pitcher
Rick now works for FOX Sports Midwest and makes his offseason home in Jupiter, FL with his wife, Lory and two sons.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
6:00 PM: Cocktail reception
6:45 PM: Program begins (Moderated Q&A followed by guest Q&A)
7:30 PM: Program concludes; cocktails and mingling continue
- Silence cell phones during program
- Keep talking to a minimum during the Q&A
- Asking brief questions during Q&A is best
- Signed memorabilia to be provided; no additional items to be signed
- People under the age of 21 cannot attend