"I grew up playing against him in high school and never had the opportunity to play with him. To be able to do that last year and really get to know him as an individual was a really neat thing.
"He's a phenomenal player. He's one of those guys you want behind you as a pitcher and as a teammate because he's going to do what's best for the team. What he overcame mentally and physically is a motivation for me and my career. I've picked his brain many, many times and the knowledge he has is incredible."
I like pointing out these little things that seem to go unnoticed; like one journeyman-type player who only spent a couple months with the Braves having an impact on another player. I've always liked Ankiel the person, though rarely have I liked Ankiel the ballplayer. I'm glad that beyond a very memorable 11th-inning home run, his time with the Braves will have a lasting impression on at least one current Braves player.