Chicago Cubs cornerstone Anthony Rizzo has led the team during its recent hot stretch and reached a historic career milestone in Thursday’s win over Miami.
During the fifth inning of Thursday’s series finale victory over the Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo launched a two-run homer. Not only was it No. 201 for him person, but he also become just the ninth Cub to hit 200 home runs as a member of the organization.
So, how did Rizzo get to this point in his career? Back in January 2012, Theo Epstein pulled the trigger on a deal that sent Andrew Cashner and Kyung-Min Na to the San Diego Padres for a kid from Parkland, Florida.
Little did we know, Rizzo soon became the key piece to a blueprint that resulted in a World Series title just four years after his arrival.
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After spending the first half of the 2012 campaign with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, Chicago called up Rizzo to make his debut in front of the Wrigley faithful.
On June 30, just four games into his Major League Cubs career, Rizzo swatted his second career homer, first as a Cub. Granted it was his only hit of the game but it did, however, serve as the go-ahead run.
Soon he became the first Cub in franchise history to tally three game-winning RBI within his first five contests. It didn’t take long for Rizzo to become a North Side favorite.
In good company
When looking at the list of other Cubs who have managed to reach this milestone, there’s no doubt the Chicago slugger is in good company. At the age of 29, Rizzo stands behind Bill Nicholson (205), Gabby Hartnett (231), Aramis Ramirez (239), Ryne Sandberg (282), Ron Santo (337), Billy Williams (392), Ernie Banks (512) and Sammy Sosa (545).
Pending some sort of universal interference, Rizzo will jump a couple of spots before the season wraps. Hopefully, a second long-term deal will be agreed upon in the near future, allowing him to catch up to Banks and Sosa.
Meanwhile, teammates Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber are among the franchise’s Top 40 in the same category. Current Marlins infielder and former Cub Starlin Castro clocks in at No. 45, having hit 62 home runs prior to being traded to the New York Yankees several years ago.
Surely, this front office will find a way to lock up at least some of this young core before they’re able to test the market. Although it may be a bit of a stretch, it would definitely be nice to see this group of talented individuals continue their growth as ball players and human beings all wearing the same uniform.