While the baseball world focused on the trade deadline earlier this week, the inaugural Bluegrass World Series opened at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville.
What is the Bluegrass World Series, you ask? It is an six-day event (July 30 to Aug. 4) pitting a team of former MLB players against seven collegiate teams. Among the MLB players participating in the event are Jake Peavy, Nick Swisher, Tim Hudson, Jonathan Papelbon, Ben Sheets, and new Hall of Famer Chipper Jones. Here's the roster.
Also on the roster: Rick Ankiel. The 39-year-old pitcher-turner-outfielder returned to the mound Wednesday night and struck out the only batter he faced. It was Ankiel's first time on a mound since he gave up pitching for good in 2004. Here's the video:
That looked like an elevated fastball to me. I wonder if Ankiel broke out the curveball. Gosh, he had one of the nastiest curveballs in the game before the yips settled in. Ankiel struck out 194 batters in 175 innings as a 20-year-old rookie in 2000, and that was before everyone seemed to strike out 10 batters a game.
The Bluegrass World Series is an event intended to simply celebrate the game of baseball. "Our vision is to make a true and lasting impact in the Louisville community and beyond," says the event's website. Pretty neat idea.