2. Lefty O'Doul
Rick Ankiel was a promising pitcher before he lost control and couldn't locate the strike zone. He spent over two years in the minors and then came back to have a couple of good seasons as a power hitter. It was an amazing story - but not one that hadn’t been done before.
Lefty O’Doul pitched for the Yankees and Red Sox in his early to mid-20s before arm injuries derailed his pitching career. He went to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and turned himself into a power hitter and returned to the majors four years later at 31 years old. He had a solid year with the New York Giants before being traded to the Phillies. It was a trade the Giants would regret.
O’Doul had 32 home runs, 122 RBIs and hit an astonishing .398 in his first year with the Phils. Lefty continued to have success for one more season in Philadelphia and a couple more with Brooklyn. It took awhile for O’Doul to find his place in baseball, but once he did he managed to become one of the greats with a lifetime batting average of .349. And to this day, he's much celebrated in his hometown of San Francisco.