“And Sosa hits another one deep!” This thought ran through many minds of children all across the country in the late 1990s and early 2000s as kids imitated his swing all over the country. Some of those kids would imitate his swing while wearing his jersey.
But should we re-evaluate buying jerseys with players names on our backs? It has become commonplace for players to go from club to club and never really plant their roots unless they get lucky with a mega-deal. But even then they might not live up to expectations that come with such a large contract for one player (think Barry Zito in San Francisco) and they can always get traded (Cliff Lee in Seattle) or they actually stay and produce quality for years (Matt Holliday in St. Louis).
If you are a Cubs fan and you are looking to buy a new jersey, I would plan on an Anthony Rizzo jersey for many reasons. First, he is a young, power-hitting left-handed first basemen. Those three things alone should convince you as a fan, but on top of that he is financially locked down by the team for a few more years.
Another thing is how much he plays. Headed into tomorrow’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Rizzo has only rested two games. He has played an amazing 131 out of 133 games possible. You always want to see your favorite play out there on the filed, especially if you are paying top dollar for his jersey.
Finally, he is one of the building blocks General Manager Theo Epstein will use as the Cubs move forward. Teams always want to find cornerstone players first and Rizzo is one the team needs to count on going forward.
Then again, one of my favorite activities at games is to see what jerseys are still coming to the ballpark. An old Mark Prior or Kerry Wood jersey always brings a smile to my face to think what could have been. Sometimes you might even stumble upon a Corey Patterson or even a Mark Grace jersey and relive your favorite highlights of their careers with your friends. No matter what, jerseys are a big part of the baseball game experience.