Imagine replacing an icon. Rick Rizzs did and it wasn’t pleasant. He left Seattle, where he was calling Mariners games, for Detroit where hall of famed Ernie Harrell was unceremoniously let go. It didn’t sit well with Tigers fans. “That’s was one of the toughest things I ever had to do in my life They should have never let him go,” Rizzs tells us on the latest show.
Rizzs lasted three years, was dumped by new owner Mike Ilitich and luckily, wound up back in Seattle the following season, where he’s been ever since.
Rizzs, who grew up in Chicago rooting for both the Cubs and Sox as George did, loves living in the “Emerald City” where coffee and landscape are king. “There’s mountains and rivers and streams and the air is fresh. I love it here.”
Rizzs and George have several things in common. They will turn 70 later in the year, grew up without knowing each other in Chicago, but met at Southern Illinois University in 1974. Rizzs was already the voice of SIU football, basketball and baseball. And, in the Fall of that year George became student sports director and actually became his boss! They also revered the legendary baseball coach Richard “Itchy” Jones who took the school to three College World.
“I loved him the first day I met him,” Rizzs remembers of his college broadcasting days.
Rizzs is not on social media, but became a hit there when a video of him calling Cal Raleigh’s dramatic home run that vaulted the Mariners into the playoffs for the first time in two decades went viral.
CAL RALEIGH’S WALK OFF HOME RUN AS CALLED BY RICK RIZZS ON MARINERS RADIO: pic.twitter.com/8tyjsusQ78
— MLB Walk Offs & Game Winning Plays (@MLBWalk_Offs) October 1, 2022
Rizzs also loves baseball’s new rules including the pitch clock. “It’s trimmed off 25-26 minutes on an average. On the first home stand of the year we played Cleveland and we played in like 2 hours and 16 minutes and I got in my car it’s 9 o’clock!
Now in his 48th year there’s no talk of retirement. Why should there be? Rizzs is still having the time of his life. The air is fresh in Seattle and and so is Rizzs.
“Tell me a story I don’t know” is partnered with Last Word on Sports Media Podcast and proudly sponsored by Mr. Duct. (www.mrductcleaning.com) Hear the episode by clicking play below,
Also stay engaged with all the great podcasting content at www.lastwordonsports.com/podcasts