When fans think of Mike Rizzo, images of pinstriped suits and a cell phone attached at the ear often come to mind.
Yet before he became the Nationals general manager, Rizzo too had dreams of playing in the major leagues.
In 1979, the California Angels selected Rizzo in the 28th round, though he never recorded any stats in the Angels’ minor league system. Three years later, however, Rizzo was again drafted by the Halos, this time in the 22nd round, where he enjoyed a short, but sweet, three-year career in the minor leagues. In three seasons with the short-season Single-A Salem Angels, Single-A Peoria Suns and Single-A Redwood Pioneers, Rizzo finished with 121 hits, five home runs, 44 RBIs and a .247 batting average.
OK, so maybe Cooperstown won’t be calling for Mr. Rizzo.
But while his playing days are over, Rizzo’s passion for baseball has continued to flourish, peaking as the man responsible for building the Nationals into contenders in the National League East.
He hasn’t forgotten his playing days, however, and is quick to laugh at himself for the not-so-memorable career he put together in the early ’80s. Take a look at Rizzo’s thoughts on his time on the diamond in the latest installment of the Rizzo blog!