A Tangled Web of Intrigue

Issue #3
June 5 , 2001

Ankiel Throws First Ever Special Olympics No-Hitter!

Ankiel's no-hitter was assisted by Special Olympics batters, like the one pictured above, who mistakenly brought a tennis racket to the plate.

Tuscaloosa, ALRick Ankiel, the St. Louis Cardinals' young and wild pitcher, threw a complete game no-hitter in an exhibition game and made progress in his attempts to reach the majors again. Utilizing just one outfielder and three catchers camped at various depths behind the batter's box, Ankiel seemed unbeatable. He buzzed through the U.S. Special Olympics baseball team's lineup the first two times, walking eight.

     The third time through, however, was an adventure. Ankiel had to avert potential harm when five consecutive batters threw their bats at him in the seventh inning. When reached for comment on the incident, Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly, once himself a member of the Special Olympics Team, described the bat throwing as "bush league."  

     Ankiel faced further difficulty in the last two innings, when several batters hit balls out of the reach of the Cardinals' lone outfielder. Luckily, all of the hitters either ran towards third base or straight at the mound, thus failing to reach first base in time to beat the throw. Ankiel's efforts were further assisted by a strong wind blowing in, the lack of an umpire behind the plate, and a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision under which wild pitchers are considered disabled and must therefore be allowed to throw from a mound 10 feet from the plate.

Butch Rogaine loves children, especially the unfortunate and underprivileged.  Butch has also donated this year's salary to the U.S.S.O.C.

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