Thursday, May 9, 2013

Announcing Anthony Rizzo - My Latest PC (Paisan Collection)

Huge news here at Ryan's Pitch.

I'm collecting any and all cards of Anthony Rizzo!

I only have two cards of Rizzo, so we're definitely on the GROUND floor for this collection.   You read that correctly - TWO.   I pulled his Allen & Ginter card out of pack last summer and then stumbled upon his mini from this year's Gypsy Queen set, also out of a pack:

Didn't dig the whole set, but I dig this card!

Without further ado, let the call ring out - I would love the chance to work out some trades for any Anthony Rizzo cards that you don't need for your collections!   That is all.......

But, as the Talking Heads pondered - how did I get here?  

Call it an epiphany of sorts - I've been following Rizzo's career pretty closely since the beginning of the 2012 season.   By then he had already been through Boston and San Diego before being shipped off to Chicago in exchange (pretty much) for Andrew Cashner.    I began my first season of fantasy baseball last year, so for the first time, I began dabbling in the "goings on" of minor league prospects throughout the majors in an effort to scout out rising talent for my own "team".

And I found Mr. Rizzo.

The Cubbies were hurting, as usual.   Their offense needed a boost and first base wasn't exactly blocked off by a long-standing beloved Windy City veteran.   In fact, the last prominent first basemen that I can recall at Wrigley would have to be from my first collecting period - Mark Grace.   No slouch! 


Anthony was called up in late June and had an immediate impact.   He couldn't singlehandedly turn around the Cubs' season but Rizzo proved to be a solid fielding 1B (.995 in 735 chances) with a great eye at the plate and some power to boot (.285 and 15 HRs).

But here is where I really started to feel a connection to the guy - he is of Italian descent, just like yours truly.   In fact, Rizzo can trace his family's roots back to the Sicilian village of Ciminna.   Ciminna is just inland, south of Palermo. 

Il mio connazionale!

One of my grandfathers, whom I mention quite frequently on this blog, was primarily responsible for solidifying my love for the game of baseball.......and he was also a first generation Italian American whose parents traveled to this country from the Sicilian village of Villarosa.   Villaroasa is fairly central to the island, several miles northeast of Caltanissetta.

Hopefully, at some point, I'll be able to travel to Sicily and see where I come from.   And don't THINK I didn't take a look at Rizzo's and my ancestors' location relative to Corleone!   I know.   Ridiculous.   But I couldn't help it.   Perhaps one day, I can hang out with Anthony and these guys, drink some coffee and tell some stories:

How y'all doin?

Fantastic.   I'm looking forward to collecting this guy and following his career.   I'm hopeful he can continue his current trends at the plate and settle in as a reliable part of Chicago's fledgling foundation with fellow infielder, Starlin Castro.   Rizzo recently made some comments about his hopes to be a part of the Cubs organization and that city for many years to come.   It's tough to do these days, but I'll hope along with him (unless he wants to wear pinstripes or tomahawks?).   Here's the back of that Rizzo GQ, by the way:

That's right......since RICK WILKINS! What?

It's almost like a return to my collecting youth in a lot of ways.   So many years ago, it was the love of The Mick shared with me by my Dad that introduced me to the Yankees and everything fell into place for my collecting ways to quickly center around Don Mattingly.   That quest continues today!   Likewise, a family connection and some random geographical coincidence from half way around the globe has now led me to cheer on another southpaw first baseman.

You can check out my PC list here.   More changes may be on the way soon, so stay tuned.

I love this hobby!

Thanks for reading!  


  1. Nice, welcome to the Rizzo collection group :-)

    I had my official Rizzo collecting launch earlier this week !

  2. Congrats. I'll look to see if I have any Rizzo's.

  3. Ryan- Nice pick! Rizzo went to high school around the corner from me so I have read a lot about him over the years.

    I'll see if I have any cards that I can send to help your side.

  4. I have two Rizzo cards that I am willing to part with. Topps 2013 Series 1 base and Series 1 chasing the dream. I also have 2012 Gypsy queen base and 2012 Topps chrome Freddie Freeman. Let me know. email is