After 8 years, Anthony Rizzo is still in awe of Wrigley Field’s charm
In mid-June, Cubs players only know life in the heat of a baseball season, so this is an awkward time for them right now.
To fill that void, a few Cubs players — Ian Happ, Nico Hoerner, Zack Short, Dakota Mekkes — started their own podcast entitled “The Compound” based off their Arizona quarantine setup.
On the latest episode of the podcast, Anthony Rizzo joined the group (sans Hoerner) to chat about whether or not he’s the most famous current Cubs player, their respective golf games and what they miss most about baseball.
For the record, Rizzo insists Javy Báez is the most famous Cubs player.
“What do I miss most about baseball?” Rizzo said. “I miss walking to Wrigley Field every day and I miss that run out to first base, just the energy you get from fans. I miss the nervous energy of, am I going to have a good game today, are we going to win today? We need to win, team’s in a rut.
“I miss all that little stuff that goes into the baseball season. I miss sitting in my locker wondering if I’m ever going to get another hit again. I miss just the grind, traveling, all of it.”
Rizzo was back in Chicago recently to take some cuts and play a little golf with Happ and the Cubs first baseman made it a point to drive by the cathedral that is Wrigley Field just because he missed it.
After playing more than 600 games at “The Friendly Confines,” Rizzo talks about the ballpark and its allure the same way some lifelong Cubs fans do.
“So I was driving ’cause we hit the other day and I wanted to drive by Wrigley just to see what it looked like ’cause I haven’t seen Wrigley in a while,” Rizzo said. “And I’m driving in from a different route than I usually take. I’m in a neighborhood, I’m in a neighborhood, then boom — Wrigley Field. I’m like, this is absolutely insane. You’re literally in residentials, then all of the sudden you have one square block of a baseball heaven stadium and then you’re back into a neighborhood.
“It blows my mind every time I see it because of how crazy it is being in the neighborhood like that.”
Wrigley has always been good to Rizzo, too — he has a career .301/.407/.514 slash line there (.920 OPS) with 98 homers and 361 RBI in 588 regular season games.
Happ described how odd it’s been for him to be back in Chicago in the middle of June without playing baseball and Rizzo also explained it was a weird adjustment to make from his home in Florida to being “Anthony Rizzo the Cubs player” in Chicago.
The two then relayed a hilarious story about how they — or, more specifically, Rizzo — was recognized while they were playing golf by a guy and his grandson.
“We’re playing golf yesterday — guy drives out in his cart to [hole] 17 or 18 with his probably grandson,” Happ said. “This is always a fun experience for me because Rizz has been here since 2012, so people know him. He’s famous. The guy drives out and he says, ‘do you know who this is?’ ‘Anthony Rizzo.’ ‘Yeah, do you know who that is’ and points at me. ‘No.’
“It’s the most demoralizing thing. I know it’s gonna happen every single time. If somebody actually says my name, I’m like, ‘oh wow.'”
But Happ still made sure to get in the picture with them alongside Rizzo.
“You gotta still get in the picture,” Happ said. “Those kids are going to have that picture forever, you want to be the guy next to him. They’re gonna be like, ‘who’s that?’ ‘That’s Anthony Rizzo and his…golf friend.'”
Check out more from The Compound podcast here.