Rizzo began playing baseball at ‘Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’ in Parkland, Florida, from where he was picked by the ‘Boston Red Sox’ for the ‘2007 Major League Baseball Draft’ in the sixth-round.
He was planning to join the ‘Florida Atlantic University’ before he was approached by the ‘Red Sox’ to sign a contract of $325,000. In 2009, he scored 12 home runs for the ‘Red Sox.’
At the end of 2010, he was traded to the ‘San Diego Padres’ for three-time ‘All-Star’ first baseman, Adrian Ganzalez. Casey Kelly, Reymond Fuentes, and Eric Patterson were other players that were traded with Rizzo.
He started his 2011 season against the ‘Tucson Padres’ in ‘Triple A.’ He was selected as a non-roster player in the ‘2011 Spring Training’ camp.
In May 2011, it was announced that his debut in the Major League might be delayed. It was after he played 52 matches for ‘Tucson Padres’ that he finally got a call to play in the majors.
Rizzo is known to be the ‘most celebrated Padres call-up’ since ‘Roberto Alomar’s debut with the team in 1988. He made his debut on June 9, 2011, where he hit a triple and scored a run against the ‘Washington Nationals.’
Padres’ defeated the ‘Washington Nationals’ in a 7-3 victory. On June 11, Rizzo scored his first home run against John Lannan.
After a month, he was sent back to the ‘Triple-A’ after he was struck out 36 times in 98 at-bats. After he finished his season at ‘Tucson’ with 26 home-runs and 101 ‘RBIs’ in 93 games, Rizzo was called back to the majors in September.
At the end of the season, Rizzo only hit .141 with 46 strikeouts in 128 at-bats. On January 6, 2012, Rizzo was traded to the ‘Chicago Cubs’ in exchange for Andrew Cashner and Kyung-Min Na.
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He started the season with an average of .342 in batting along with 23 home-runs and 62 RBIs, making sure his grip in the minor leagues remain intact. He started with ‘Triple-A’ ‘Iowa Cubs’ but was recalled by the ‘Cubs’ in June to help a struggling defence.
Around this time, he started giving his best. He became the first rookie ‘Cub’ after Mel Hall, in August 1983, to hit seven home-runs in the month of July.
He was also the first player of ‘Chicago Cubs’ to score three consecutive game-winning RBIs in his first five games. He was also named July’s ‘Rookie of the Month’ after he ranked second ‘National League’ rookie in run scores.
He also led ‘NL’ rookies with 32 hits and 17 RBIs in the same month. In 2013, he signed a 7-year deal for $41 million with the ‘Cubs’ and was also named as team’s choice for various awards and recognitions.
He scored 23 homers and 40 doubles in 606 at bats with a .233 batting average during the season. In 2014, Rizzo played his first ‘All-Star’ game.
In the 2015 season, he played in his second ‘All-Star’ game’ and also made his debut in the ‘2015 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby’ where he lost to Josh Donaldson in the first round.
He became the only member after Don Baylor to be hit by a pitch 30-time, and scored his 100th homer on September 8, 2015. He was placed fourth in the ‘NL’ ‘MVP’ voting that year.
In 2016, he started as the first baseman at the ‘2016 All-Star’ game.’ He also received most fans vote in the ‘National League.’
He also led his team to the ‘2016 World Series’ win, the first time since 1908. In the next season, the Cubs had a 5-2 winning streak for seven consecutive games. Rizzo hit 12 hits in 28 at bats with 10 RBIs and hit .430 during the streak. He started as the ‘NL’ first baseman for ‘2017 All-Star Game.’
He also became the fourth ‘Cub’ to hit 30 home runs, 30 doubles and 100 RBIs in three or more seasons. Unfortunately, in 2018, Rizzo was placed in the disabled list due to a back injury.
However, he made the first pitch of his career on July 23, 2018, and retired A.J Pollock of the ‘Arizona Diamondbacks.’ Rizzo also played for Italy in the 2013 World Baseball Classic before the ‘MLB 2013 Season.’
Awards & Achievements
He is a three-time ‘All Star’ (2014-2016). He won ‘Player of the Week’ award in 2014.
He also received ‘Branch Rickey Award ‘in 2014. He was the youngest player to achieve the feat.
Rizzo is the recipient of ‘Heart & Hustle Award’ (2015), ‘Silver Slugger Award’ (2016), ‘Golden Glove Award’ (2016), ‘Platinum Glove Award’ (2016), and ‘Roberto Clemente Award’ (2017). He also won ‘Esurance MLB Award’ for the ’Best Social Media Personality’ and for the ‘Best Play: Defense’ in 2016.
Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in April 2008. He went through chemotherapy for six months. His grandmother too was suffering with breast cancer around the same time.
In November 2018, the doctors told him that he would be able to live ‘a normal life.’ He established an ‘NGO’ named ‘The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation,’ in 2012, to help the families fighting cancer and for research on the disease.
Rizzo got engaged to his girlfriend, Emily Vakos, on June 1, 2017. The two met in Arizona when Rizzo was on his ‘Spring Training’ in 2016.