I love cheering for Anthony Rizzo.
After learning that his ancestors hail from the same slice of Sicily that mine do, I will always feel a reasonable connection with the lefty slugger. The revelation came out of nowhere, discovered by yours truly (no sleuth) during a previous World Baseball Championship. Rizzo's presence on Team Italia got my wheels turning.....and the rest was history.
The great thing about cheering for Rizzo is that it has its good days and bad days. He was a star prospect and held the hopes and dreams of the Padres in his hands before he was sent to the Cubbies in the Andrew Cashner deal. Cashner is pretty good, serving nicely as the Friars' staff ace int heir cavernous ballpark. Rizzo, on the other hand, is still a young player for Chicago about which the Cubs would VERY much like to build their organization. Starlin Castro just hasn't quite panned out and the likes of Baez, Almora, Bryant and others are still just a teeny, tiny bit into the future.....
It's Rizzo's time to grab the reigns, if he so chooses - and I sure am hoping/cheering that he does! SO far, he has had a quietly successful 2014 campaign, in my opinion anyways. I know that Cubs fans yearn for more from the well-paid lad, but Anthony is batting .283 with a K:BB ratio of 1. I believe this shows some pretty decent discipline.....he is also on pace for 24 HRs, 75+ RBI and nearly 100 runs. Keep it up, Anthony!
Either way, I will be a fan forever and always.
In the meantime, I've managed to add a few nice cards of Rizzo to my PC. Here is one that I really love! I know that it does not technically qualify as a 'rookie card' (bowman draft prospect cards are considered inserts), but I am calling this my gem mint Rizzo rookie. Take a look:
Sticker auto, but I'm over it. The card is flawless - with the exception of that awful uniform....but let's focus on the good :) This card garnered a total 9.5 grade from BGS with all 9.5's in centering, edges and surface. The one "9" subgrade was awarded to the card's corners....and I suppose you can detect a 'touched' look on the lower two. No worries! I love the card and the autograph is really bold, too (validated by the 10 auto grade, I suppose).
Absolutely thrilled to add this Rizzo to my collection, and for the price of a blaster, I think I got a pretty good deal. I believe it is $10+ for a BGS submission by itself?
This also marks the second graded or "slabbed" card that I've featured here on the blog as a new addition to my collection. There are several more that I've added that I can't wait to share with you. If you remember, I last showed my 2001 Pujols rookie card, which was graded by PSA. Do I have any consistency with my graded card acquisitions? Is there a plan?
For the most part, yes. I read a lot about card grading, tracked graded card pricing online and discussed the topic ad nauseam with many of you fellow collectors. I've decided to, whenever possible, pursue PSA-grading for cards in my collection prior to 2000 and then BGS-grading for cards thereafter. I am still working out the finer details of what my preference is for any pre-war cards (Goudey, T206, etc.) that I might be FORTUNATE enough to hold in my hands.....PSA and SGC will be the two options for me.
Because I'm a nerd:
PSA/SGC <-----> WW2 <-----> PSA <-----> 2000 <-----> BGS
Now, if you've been keeping track, you'll notice that I already violated this strategy with the 2001 Bowman Gold Pujols. The price was right and I decided to act - and those kinds of occurrences are A-OK for me.
I do appreciate the craftsmanship of the BGS 'slab', though. The gold label with subgrades make for a very attractive and professional presentation. The slab itself is much thicker and heavier than PSA, too. But I'm okay with either one. What do you guys prefer? A great discussion and hobby debate, for sure.
Thanks for reading and keep collecting!