Rick Ankiel: Baseball player's South Hutchinson Island townhome will be auctioned

JENSEN BEACH — This three-story townhome on South Hutchinson Island that will be sold at auction Wednesday is a most unusual fixer-upper.

Selling the four-bedroom unit at 138 Ocean Bay Drive in Ocean Bay Villas, a 6-year-old luxury gated community, is Rick Ankiel, the professional baseball player from Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie High School.

The auction, conducted by Elliott Paul & Co. Auctions of Stuart, will begin at 5 p.m. at the townhome, 138 Ocean Bay Drive, in the St. Lucie County section of Jensen Beach.

When Ankiel bought the townhome in January 2007 for almost $600,000, it was in the lower range of sale prices for Ocean Bay Villas, one of which topped $1 million. The eight Ocean Bay townhomes sold this year ranged from $225,000 to $360,000.

Though Ankiel has owned the townhome for almost six years, it has never been lived in. The main reason, according to auctioneer Elliot Paul, is some Chinese drywall that has not yet been replaced.

The townhome has about 2,220 square feet of living space, plus a private elevator that connects the living space to a two-car garage, and covered terrace and balconies. Amenities in Ocean Bay include a clubhouse with fitness center, heated pool and spa, and private access to the Atlantic Ocean beach.

Originally a pitcher, Ankiel was a 20-year-old runner-up for the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2000. Now 33, Ankiel has spent all or part of 10 seasons in the major leagues, but is not yet signed for the 2013 season after he was released in late July by the Washington Senators, Ankiel's fourth major-league team.

In January 2007, though, Ankiel was recuperating from knee surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2006 season after he had spent the previous two seasons in the minors trying to resurrect his career.

A few months later, he returned to the major leagues, completing his remarkable transformation to outfielder. Ankiel is the first player since Babe Ruth to have at least 10 career wins as a pitcher and hit at least 50 home runs. He is also the only player other than Babe Ruth to both start a postseason game as a pitcher and hit a home run in the postseason as a position player.

The townhome will be sold as is to the highest bidder in an absolute auction.

Those interested in bidding must register with a $10,000 cashier's check made payable to the bidder. The winning bidder's check will be applied toward a 10 percent deposit due immediately. A 10 percent buyer's premium will be added to the winning bid.

The buyer will be responsible for all closing costs, including documentary stamps. Real estate taxes for 2012 will be prorated to the day of closing.

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