Rizzo took it all in at his first All-Star Game

July, 16, 2014
Jul 16
Saxon By Mark Saxon
MINNEAPOLIS – Anthony Rizzo spent two days in Minneapolis, and all he got to show for it was a lousy strikeout. Similar story for his teammate Starlin Castro.

The two Chicago Cubs each struck out on foul tips while facing Oakland left-hander Sean Doolittle in the eighth inning of the American League’s 5-3 All-Star Game win Tuesday night.

But for a young player such as Rizzo, a first-time All-Star, the experience goes well beyond his limited playing time here. Rizzo, 24, had two days to soak up how the best baseball players on earth go about their business. He got to take batting practice among the best hitters in the game. He got to listen to advice from multiple-time All-Stars.

No particular bit of advice stuck with him, but he said he benefitted from getting the call and being around it all. Like most first-time All-Stars, Rizzo kept a low profile. The only loud, young player was Yasiel Puig, but that’s not unusual.

“I just came in and did what I always do,” Rizzo said. “You respect, obviously, everyone in here. You don’t want to be too loud around here. It’s my first time. Who knows if I’ll be back here again.”

Considering he’s 24 and has 20 home runs at the All-Star break, there’s a decent chance Rizzo will get back one day. Castro, who was playing in his third All-Star game, could become a perennial participant at the event.

Given how fragile success is in the game of baseball, you never take anything for granted.

Mark Saxon

Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.



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Starlin Castro
.292 14 65 58
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167