Rizzo includes Castro in tribute to Lester

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) celebrates with Anthony Rizzo, Lester's complete game and the team's 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants after a baseball game Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Chicago.

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) celebrates with Anthony Rizzo, Lester's complete game and the team's 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants after a baseball game Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Chicago. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 9/19/2020 9:36 PM

Anthony Rizzo paid tribute to veteran pitcher Jon Lester, while also throwing a shoutout to a long-departed second baseman.

"That's one of my closest friends in the game," Rizzo said of Lester. "He's taught me and helped me develop as a person, most importantly, and as a teammate and as a leader. His generosity, all the gifts he's bought us, everything he's done off the field for us, the parties he's thrown for us, the team gatherings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I remember his press conference like it was yesterday. One of the main things he said was, 'I'm coming here to win,' and that's coming to a 90-plus loss team in 2014. We turn around to win 97, division after division, NLCS, World Series. He came here to win and that's what he's done.

"He's brought a winning mentality, he's a winning player. Right next to Starlin Castro, Jon Lester is the most important baseball player in my life for my career, personally."

Rizzo played next to Castro when he first joined the Cubs, but Castro was traded to the Yankees after the 2015 season.

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