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Thursday, July 10, 2014
Social media campaign pays off for Rizzo

By Jesse Rogers

Behind the strength of the #VoteRizzo campaign on Twitter, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is an All-Star for the first time.

I just want to thank you all for your support. Thank you to the @Cubs and all of my fans out there for voting for me. I'm so humbled #ASG

— Anthony Rizzo (@ARizzo44) July 10, 2014

An online campaign #VoteRizzo took off as Rizzo garnered 8.8 million votes to beat Justin Morneau of Colorado and Justin Upton of Atlanta while Anthony Rendon of Washington and Casey McGehee of Miami. He joins Starlin Castro as Cubs representatives. Former Cub Jeff Samardzija also made the team but won't play due to his trade to the Oakland Athletics.

Like Castro, it's been a year of redemption for Rizzo. After batting just .233 with 23 home runs last season, he's hitting .277 with 20 homers already this season. The 20 home runs lead all NL first baseman while he's second in the league with an .899 OPS (on-base + slugging).

It's a credit to Rizzo's year that he made it -- and Cubs fans who have suffered through three losing seasons under the direction of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. And the notion of both he and Castro making the All-Star team one year after coming under heavy criticism must be pleasing to the Cubs organization.