With his recent heroics on the ball field, Cardinals pitcher turned outfielder Rick Ankiel, is becoming a modern day Roy Hobbs. Meteoric rise to the majors, swift encounter with darkness, and never to be heard from again, until...
108 Red Stitches' over analysis begins now:

The Legend:

Roy Hobbs: On his way to the majors (via train) Hobbs strikes out the immortal Walt "The Whammer" Whambold (the best hitter in the majors at the time) during a brief pit stop at a local carnival.

Rick Ankiel: With his dominating fastball, devastating sinker, and looping curveball, Ankiel strikes out 194 batters, posting a 3.50 ERA at the ripe old age of 21.

Advantage: Hobbs. Nobody strikes out a guy names Walt "The Whammer" Whambold and lives to tell about it.

Into the Darkness:

Hobbs: Shot by a temptress in a black dress.

Ankiel: Can't find the strike zone in Game 1 of the 2000 NLDS against the Braves, he allowed 4 runs on 2 hits, walking 4 and throwing 5 wild pitches before Tony LaRussa took him out of the game.

Advantage: Ankiel. It only gets worse; Ankiel goes on to pitch against the Mets in the NLCS. First inning = 20 pitches, five of which scoot past the catcher. He returns later in the series, still unable to find the plate, walking a handful more batters, and the Cardinals lose the series.

The Return:

Hobbs: Well, depends on who you listen to. Hollywood and the book says Hobbs returns 15 years later, as an outfielder, and begins to go on a hitting tear. He helps the Knights crawl out of the cellar, and this is where things diverge. Hollywood has Hobbs hitting a homerun that crashes into a light tower, ensuing fireworks display wows all. The book has Hobbs striking out in his last at bat, after accepting a handsome ransom from the teams owner to throw the game.

Ankiel: Returns to the majors as an outfielder, hitting a three run wallop in the 7th inning, to help the Cardinals beat the Brewers. Standing ovation, curtain calls, firstborns, all thrust at Ankiel.

Advantage: Movie Hobbs. Anyone that can hit a homerun and set off fireworks, while nursing a 15 year old gunshot wound and dealing with the fact that he might be a father, wins in our book.

Famous Quotes:

Hobbs: "Pick me out a winner Bobby".

Ankiel: "The frustration that built up, it seems like it was really eroding my spirit and starting to affect my personality off the field. It just became apparent that it was time for me to move on and pursue becoming an outfielder."

Advantage: Hobbs. Not one movie quote has spawned more jokes about picking one's nose.