It’s kind of a loaded question. Anthony Rizzo is the next Anthony Rizzo, I know this. Of course, I wouldn’t have this article to write, so for comparative sake, let’s roll with it.
Even since his rookie year, Cubs first baseman and left-handed slugger, Anthony Rizzo had a quiet calmness, an heir of leadership. He was a young pro and you could tell he was on a mission. He had already overcome cancer in the form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I suppose after that, the most challenging day in baseball is a cake walk.
Lot’s of things happened for the Cubs in 2014. From young prospects being called up to them signing manager Joe Maddon after he became a free-agent. Then there was the signing of John Lester, who had also won his own battle with cancer. Something I just learned actually. Before spring training, Rizzo made a bold statement that the Cubs would do well in 2015. In fact, he said the Cubs will win their division. Some people disregarded it immediately, some laughed, some even admired his positive attitude.
Here we are on May 24th, the Cubs sit just 2.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, with a record of 24-18–6 games over .500. I was probably one of the few who were overly optimistic coming into the season. It seems like it’s a little fast, even for me. They haven’t played perfect baseball by any means. They have their ups and downs just like any team. They have a lot of leaders in the clubhouse, and Rizzo is one of the young veterans who is solidifying the locker room, no doubt.
Like Paul Konerko and even Jonathan Toews, you can see similarities in Rizzo’s attitude and professionalism. It may be a little early to already be comparing him to two future Hall of Famers in their respective sports, but this young slugger is well on his way. If good things are going to happen for the Cubs, it will be Rizzo in the middle of it, leading the charge.