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Thank You, Anthony Rizzo

From being the face of the Cubs franchise, to being a leader, to being an incredible human. From Cubs fans everywhere, thank you, Anthony Rizzo.
Chicago Cubs

Anthony Rizzo

Many Chicago Cubs players from the coveted World Series team from 2016 have moved on to another team or retirement, but none of them have emotional strings attached to the fans' hearts like Anthony Rizzo.

The Cubs traded the once longest-tenured Cub to the Yankees Thursday evening, shocking most of the fanbase. Fans knew Kris Bryant and Craig Kimbrel have been on the trade market for most of the season and knew there was a possibility with the Red Sox when it came to Rizzo's possible departure.

The Yankees snuck in and delivered the two prospects to the Cubs in return for Rizzo's services in the final months of the season.

In the latest edition of the Cubs On Tap podcast, myself and fellow On Tap contributor Ron Luce stressed our disappointment in the Cubs' front office and David Ross for not allowing Rizzo or Bryant an appearance in what eventually was the captain's last home game.

As the 3:00 p.m. trade deadline approached, we knew the stars would be gone, and ultimately it was a busy day. Javier Baez went to the Mets, Bryant to the Giants, and Kimbrel to the White Sox, among other moves.

In the ninth inning of the Cubs' eventual 7-4 loss against the Reds, there were chants of "We Want Bryzzo" from the fans across Wrigley Field. The fans left disappointed.

The reaction on Twitter is justified and the Cubs are going to take heat for this the rest of the season.

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As I said on the latest podcast, it is an absolute travesty that Rizzo and Bryant did not get into Thursday's game. We know the state of the team. We knew the team was selling off pieces for the future.

These two guys deserved appreciation from the fans that came to see them. I genuinely feel terrible for the fans who bought a ticket from the Cubs for that game.

Rizzo will go down as one of the most beloved athletes in Chicago sports history. He deserves to one day see No. 44 flying from the right-field foul pole and a statue outside the Marquee.

Words can not describe how much Rizzo means to the Cubs fanbase. Factor in changing the culture, that once was astronomically bad, going from a losing mindset to a winning mindset and fulfilling one of the greatest achievements in American sports — breaking a 108-year curse and helping the Cubs win the World Series.

Rizzo's debut with the Cubs in 2012 symbolizes just how bad the organization was when he arrived. He was the only player who truly saw the team blossom into a playoff contender over time.

After 10 years with the Cubs, Rizzo finished his Cubs career with a .272/.372/.489 slash line. He hit 242 homers as the Cubs first baseman. Famously known for crowding the plate, Rizzo finished with 165 hit-by-pitches as a Cub. He is 18th all-time with 169, one behind Derek Jeter.

Rizzo will always have a special place in fan's hearts. There is still a chance he returns via free agency this coming winter, but for the last couple of months of the 2021 campaign, it will be very weird to not see him at first base every day.

If he is indeed moving on to another team this winter, it was a ride Cubs fans will never forget. One day the statue will be outside the friendly confines. For me, I can't wait to be in attendance when it's unveiled.