Antonio, si stanno avendo un anno fantastico! Sapevo che si poteva fare - complimenti , mio fratello!
Yeah, I'm a little energized right now. It's been a tumultuous season for my favorite teams and favorite players. The Yanks' starting pitching has been decimated after such a glorious start, and yet they're definitely hanging around in a softer AL East - partially due to some consistent greatness from David Robertson (and another player I'll be announcing soon)! The Braves are pulling their usual stunt of mixing ecstasy with agony, though Freddie and The Kimbrel are certainly doing their parts and the Braves themselves are just a gant's ass behind the....gNats. Jagielo is coming back from injury but has already gone deep down in the Florida State League (A-Advanced). Mattingly's Dodgers are winning again, despite themselves and their critics.
And then......and then......
There is THIS guy!
We're now into August, and Anthony Rizzo certainly APPEARS to be having the breakout season that his fans (and Cubs fans especially) have been waiting for! He's batting .283 with 25 HRs, 60 RBI and 70 runs scored! You can even add in a couple of stolen bases for good measure. While the Cubs don't find themselves in the hunt, Anthony's performance at the plate and in the field garnered him his FIRST All Star Game appearance (along with Fab-Fivin' Freddie Freeman and le Kimbrel)! He made good use of his single at-bat, Needless to say, I will be anxiously awaiting the late year releases for some All-Star cardboard.
In honor of his outstanding achievement, I would like to share one of my favorite pieces from the Ryan's Pitch Rizzo Collection. I picked it up on the secondary market last year and must admit that there was much inspiration for this addition from my good friend Brian, over at "30 Year-Old Cardboard". His legendary "Ultimate Dawson" Collection is a site to behold and I would highly encourage you to check it out. With so many types of memorabilia pieces that are absolutely swimming in interesting inscriptions and player gravitas.....it is truly amazing and serves as a great example of one particular way to enjoy our hobby.
In that vein, I saw this ticket and knew that I had to have it. The price was right and the PSA authenticity credentials instilled the confidence I needed.....and I've enjoyed it ever since! I am happy to share this ticket to the Padres/Nationals game on June 11th, 2011!
It was the Bottom of the 2nd inning when Rizzo stroked his first home run off of John Lannan into the right field bleachers at cavernous PETCO. It would be the only run scored by the Padres that day, and they would end up losing the game, 2-1. But it was surely a great day for Anthony and, coincidentally, for my wife and me as we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. Big day!
Here's a closer look at the inscription, "First Home Run":
It probably wouldn't have affected my decision, but I am glad that Rizzo didn't go with "1st HR". I appreciate full words. Except for when I don't use them myself.....on this blog. Whoops.
Here's a close look at the unmistakable, short signature of Mr. Rizzo:
Overall, the ticket is really nice looking. An odd choice of picture, but it gives us a soothing look at what is probably a very comfortable San Diego evening. The color scheme and graphics don't lend themselves to an easy presentation for autographs and such, but I feel like the use of the silver ink helps to mitigate that effect.
Rizzo's really emerged as a star this season and I couldn't be happier for him or for Cubs fans. He seems to be a really good person (he sticks up for his teammates when opposing pitchers hurl 100 mph+ pitches at their heads, for example) and does a lot of great charity work off the field. He's a lefty first baseman who looks like he's going to be playing some good baseball for many years to come. I love watching him play and find myself rooting just a little bit for the Cubbies in the NL Central.
I'm thrilled to add another Rizzo autograph to my collection, but especially ecstatic to add one that is unique and commemorates one of his early career milestones. He's averaged 26 long balls per 162 games so far in his blossoming career, so I'm ready for the next couple of decades!
Here's the back, complete with assurances from our friends at PSA.....
Thanks for reading!