Chicago Cubs: “C” or not, Anthony Rizzo embodies Cubs captaincy

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Emerging into stardom

Other, more prominent, first basemen were available and stole the headlines as Prince Fielder — now retired for health reasons — inked an eventual $214 million dollar deal with Detroit, and Albert Pujols left the Cardinals and NL Central behind for $254 million in Orange County to play for the Angels.

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Rizzo never played a game in Boston. Instead, starting his career deep within the organization’s farm clubs, and eventually heading to San Diego, by virtue of Epstein and then-Padres GM Jed Hoyer, as Adrian Gonzalez headed east to anchor the lineup and first base for Boston.

Though there was promise in Rizzo, to eventually evolve into that franchise cornerstone player the Cubs envisioned, it’s a tricky business with prospects.

Epstein pulled the trigger to re-acquire him, this time, with the vision that Rizzo would lead and anchor the Cubs lineup and first base position. It was once-promising Cubs hurler, Andrew Cashner, heading the other way to the Padres. Earlier this week, Cashner signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Orioles.

Who knew, Rizzo, still evolving from potential and promise to All-Star and World Champion, would encapsulate the Cubs organization the way he would. On the field, embodying the type of role model you hope for in athletes. But just as, if not, more importantly, embodying a true role model off the field.