Spotlight: Rick Ankiel Debuts Friday on FSNM

FSN Midwest tells the story of St. Louis Cardinal Rick Ankiel's career in professional baseball in Spotlight: Rick Ankiel, a 30-minute show premiering Friday, August 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Using interviews with Ankiel, his teammates and others, the show chronicles Ankiel's journey from pitching phenom to power-hitting outfielder.  FSN's Dan McLaughlin conducts the interview with Ankiel.  Also featured in the show are Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, outfielders Ryan Ludwick and Skip Schumaker, broadcaster Mike Shannon and Hall of Fame writer Rick Hummel.


Quotes from Spotlight: Rick Ankiel on FSN Midwest:

LaRussa: "I'm absolutely convinced that if Mike Matheny had caught that first game (of the 2000 NLDS) that Rick would not have had the problems with the wildness.  He would have speared a couple of those balls, and the comfort factor wasn't there for a young pitcher pitching in the bright lights of the postseason.  I haven't shared that a lot, but there's no doubt in my mind that if Mike had been the catcher Rick still might be a pitcher."


LaRussa: "The way he handled it is what really has separated him with his teammates, members of the organization and the coaching staff.  I've never seen a guy handle it more professionally, tougher, more honest."


McLaughlin: "Do you ever get the itch to get back on the mound?"

Ankiel: "No, not really.  I enjoyed pitching, it was fun.  But being able to play every day is so much different and I enjoy it so much more."


McLaughlin: Can you still throw a curve ball with the best of them?

Ankiel: "Yeah, it's funny, Kyle McLellan does that now.  He's always telling me his is better than mine.  It's still there, I can still throw it, but it's retired now."


Ludwick on Ankiel's second amazing throw at Colorado on May 6, 2008: "It's a once in a lifetime throw.  That thing is eight feet off the ground from 330 feet away."


Air dates for Spotlight: Rick Ankiel on FSN Midwest (times Central):

Friday, Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 10 at 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 16 at 11:30 a.m.

Sunday, Aug. 24 at 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 6:30 p.m.

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