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The Phenomenon

Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


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--not due to an injury or a bolt of lightning, but 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 twenty-five, 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.

Customer Reviews

The phenomenon

Having witnessed his blowout in the playoff game against Atlanta, I often wanted to know what happened to Rick. Now that I know what happened it reminds me that players are every bit human as the rest of us. It was a good read even though somewhat sad. I wish Rick well.?

Thank You

The Phenomenon is an outstanding book about not only baseball but also about life and the struggles it sometimes throws our way. As a lifelong Cardinal fan I was very much aware of Rick Ankiel’s story within the confines of Busch Stadium. But I had no idea about his childhood and the struggles it presented. Thanks Rick for your willingness to share your heart and some very emotional experiences with us! Now, every time I see a wild pitch while watching a Cardinal game on TV the first thought I have is, is this The Thing inflicting it’s pain on another player? Thank you again, I hope everyone who reads this book finds it as encouraging as I did!

The Phenomenon
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Apr 18, 2017
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings