If you are a fan of Major League Baseball (MLB), you might have wondered if there is any relation between Mike Rizzo and Anthony Rizzo, two prominent figures in the sport. Mike Rizzo is the president of baseball operations and general manager of the Washington Nationals, while Anthony Rizzo is a first baseman for the New York Yankees. Both of them have Italian-American heritage and share the same surname, but are they actually related?
The answer is no
According to Fabwags, Mike Rizzo and Anthony Rizzo are not related at all. They are not even distant cousins or relatives by marriage. They just happen to have a common last name that is popular among people of Italian descent.
Mike Rizzo was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 14, 1960. He is the youngest son of Phil Rizzo, a former minor league player and a renowned MLB scout who worked for the California Angels and the Washington Nationals. Phil Rizzo passed away in February 2020 at the age of 90.
Anthony Rizzo was born in Parkland, Florida, on August 8, 1989. He is the son of John and Laurie Rizzo, who own a lighting company. He has three siblings: John Jr., Adam, and Emily. Anthony Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma when he was 18 years old, but he successfully underwent chemotherapy and has been cancer-free since 2008.
Their careers in baseball
Mike Rizzo and Anthony Rizzo have both achieved remarkable success in their respective roles in baseball. Mike Rizzo started his career as a player, but he was released by the Angels after three seasons in the minor leagues. He then became a scout for the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox, before joining the Arizona Diamondbacks as their scouting director in 2000. He was responsible for drafting and signing many future stars, such as Justin Upton, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Drew.
In 2006, Mike Rizzo moved to the Washington Nationals as their assistant general manager. He was promoted to general manager in 2009, and to president of baseball operations in 2013. Under his leadership, the Nationals have won six division titles, two pennants, and one World Series championship in 2019.
Anthony Rizzo also began his career as a player, but he made it to the major leagues. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB draft, but he was traded to the San Diego Padres in 2010 as part of a deal for Adrian Gonzalez. He made his MLB debut in 2011 with the Padres, but he struggled to perform well.
In 2012, Anthony Rizzo was traded again, this time to the Chicago Cubs. He blossomed into an All-Star player with the Cubs, appearing in three consecutive All-Star Games from 2014 to 2016. He also won four Gold Glove Awards, one Silver Slugger Award, one Platinum Glove Award, and one Roberto Clemente Award. He was a key member of the Cubs team that won the World Series title in 2016, ending a 108-year drought for the franchise.
In 2021, Anthony Rizzo was traded once more, this time to the New York Yankees. He signed a two-year contract with a club option for a third year with the Yankees as a free agent after the season.
Their mutual respect and admiration
Despite not being related by blood or marriage, Mike Rizzo and Anthony Rizzo have expressed their respect and admiration for each other on several occasions. They have also interacted with each other on the field and off the field.
In 2017, Mike Rizzo praised Anthony Rizzo for his courage and resilience in overcoming cancer and becoming a star player. He said that Anthony Rizzo was “a great example for young kids” and “a great ambassador for baseball”. [Fabwags]
In 2019, Anthony Rizzo congratulated Mike Rizzo and the Nationals for winning the World Series title. He said that he was happy for Mike Rizzo and his father Phil, who had scouted him when he was a teenager. He said that Phil Rizzo was “a legend” and “a great man”. [NBC Sports]
In 2020, Mike Rizzo sent Anthony Rizzo a personalized letter and a Nationals jersey with his name and number on it. He thanked Anthony Rizzo for his support and friendship during his father’s passing. He said that Anthony Rizzo was “a class act” and “a true professional”. [MLB.com]
Mike Rizzo and Anthony Rizzo are not related at all, but they share a common passion for baseball and a mutual respect for each other. They have both achieved remarkable success in their respective roles in baseball, and they have both overcome challenges and adversity in their personal lives. They are both examples of excellence and integrity in the sport.