Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

History says Cubs' Rizzo has time for Rookie run

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Rookie of the Year?

Anthony Rizzo probably earns that distinction for the Cubs this year just by showing up - if barely.

Rizzo's 128 at-bats for the San Diego Padres last season falls three short of putting him beyond rookie status. And his 44 days on the Padres' roster during the 25-man limit? Two short.

So about that N.L. Rookie of the Year? He's got some catching up to do, but if history means anything, the 89 games he had to work with when recalled from the minors Tuesday could be enough.

``That'd be cool,'' said Rizzo, who batted third and went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his Cubs debut Tuesday night. ``But do I think of that? No way.''

In 1959, another left-handed, slugging first baseman needed just 52 games to win the award for the San Francisco Giants, with Willie McCovey hitting .354 with a 1.085 OPS.

And an Atlanta Braves first baseman won it in 1978 playing the same 89 games that Rizzo gets - Bob Horner hitting .266 with 23 homers without so much as a pit stop in the minors.

``Maybe in a month or two I'll try talking about that, but it's day-to-day,'' Rizzo said of his focus. ``That'd be awesome, but that's way too far to think about.''

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on June 27, 2012 12:52 PM.

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