Rick Ankiel came up through the St. Louis Cardinals system as a promising left-handed pitcher. He finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year balloting in 2000. But beginning in 2001 he inexplicably lost the ability to throw strikes. Not wanting to give up on his baseball career, Ankiel toiled in the minors and repositioned himself as hitter. He returned to the Cardinals in 2007 as power hitting outfielder and hit 25 home runs for the Cardinals in 2008.
Ankiel was nearing the end of his career when the Mets in need of some offensive production signed him as a free agent on May 13, 2013. He made his Met debut the same day as the team’s starting centerfielder against his former team the Cardinals. He went 0-3 with walk and 2 strikeouts. Two days later he hit his first home run for the Mets accounting for the only two runs in a 4-2 loss to St. Louis.
However, his offensive production wasn’t living up to expectations and following a three strikeout performance against the Miami Marlins on June 8th, he was released.
In 20 games for the Mets in 2013 Ankiel batted just .182 with 2 home runs and 7 RBIs.
His stint with the Mets would be his last in the majors as he retired following the season.
While with the Mets Ankiel wore number 16.
Rick Ankiel also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1999-2001,2001-2009
Kansas City Royals – 2010
Atlanta Braves – 2010
Washington Nationals – 2011,2012
Houston Astros – 2013