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"Harder Than a Rick Ankiel" is inspired by a home-run hit by former major league pitcher turned out fielder Rick Ankiel for the Atlanta Braves in the 2010 playoffs against the San Francisco Giants.
Just a few years earlier, Rick Ankiel had been a rising star for The Cardinals as a pitcher until he came down with a case of the yips. In baseball, a case of the yips is when you inexplicably lose your ability to throw a baseball. Ankiel threw wild pitches every which way in front of sellout crowds, prompting The Cardinals to send him down to the minors, where he resolved to beat his battle with the yips by picking up a bat and becoming a hitter.
Something about turning away and never looking back from the position he'd held his whole life inspired me to write. I couldn't help but relate it to my own experiences with relationships.
Ankiel came back stronger than before, going onto hit many home runs for The Braves and The Nationals in his post-pitcher career as an outfielder. Similarly, Pony League is back and stronger than ever after taking a short break to retool, changing our name from our old moniker, "Cute Boots."
"Harder Than a Rick Ankiel" and "Bad Habit" are just a glimpse into what we can expect from the band down the road.