The Phenomenon

  • by Rick Ankiel
  • Narrated by Rick Ankiel
  • 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Rick Ankiel had the talent to be one of the best pitchers ever. Then, one day, he lost it.
The Phenomenon is the story of how St. Louis Cardinals prodigy Rick Ankiel lost his once-in-a-generation ability to pitch - due not to an injury or a bolt of lightning but to a mysterious anxiety condition widely known as "the Yips". It came without warning in the middle of a playoff game, with millions of people watching. And it has never gone away.
Yet the true test of Ankiel's character came not on the mound but in the long days and nights that followed, as he searched for a way to get back in the game. For four and a half years, he fought the Yips with every arrow in his quiver: psychotherapy, medication, deep-breathing exercises, self-help books, and, eventually, vodka. And then, after reconsidering his whole life at the age of 25, Ankiel made an amazing turnaround, returning to the Major Leagues as a hitter and playing seven successful seasons.
This book is an incredible story about a universal experience - pressure - and what happened when a person on the brink had to make a choice about who he was going to be.

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What the Critics Say

"Revealing, vulnerable, and triumphant, Rick Ankiel and Tim Brown provide a poignant reminder in this age of statistics- and computer-driven analysis that it is real people who play the game. Real people, carrying family history, huge expectations, and lifelong dreams along for the ride. This book will change how you watch the game and those who play it." (Jim Abbott, former MLB pitcher and best-selling author of Imperfect)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

story is great, performance ok

great story, Mr Ankiel is candid, an honest. his performance reading is not good on spots but good in others, personally I prefer to have him read opposed to an actor regardless. if you remember this young man and what happened 17 years ago this is a must read,.
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- Daniel Wise

Worth the read

I wasn't very familiar with the story of Rick Ankiel, so the beginning of the book was a little hard for me to follow. It was worth getting through those chapters to have it all come together. The book was very real, not sugar coated. There is something for everyone to learn in this book.
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- Eric Thornton

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-18-2017
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio