Taylor Swift once again worked magic for MLB great Anthony Rizzo, with her tunes getting credit for shaking him out of a slump that helped give the New York Yankees first baseman a homerun, RBI double, and two singles against the Kansas City Royals.
The Yankees 8-5 victory on Sunday completed a sweep, the first time in two months, and Rizzo’s first home run in 45 games. It also was his first four-hit game since Aug. 4, 2019, and the 15th of his career.
Music for the Win
His career-making year in 2016 with the Chicago Cubs – the team’s first World Series in 108 years – broke the longest championship drought by any major American sports team. It was another time Rizzo tapped Swift’s tunes for that je nais se quois mojo.
After getting drafted to the Yankees in 2021, Rizzo reportedly had numerous Walkup Songs – including “Right Where You Should Be” by Quin XCII (feat. Ashe & Louis Futon), “Ooh La La” by Faces, “Good Life” (feat. T-Pain) by Kayne West, and others.
Are You Ready For This?
Why did the lefty slugger circle back to Swift, deciding to pump up the volume on his walkup with the pop star’s 2017 hit Are You Ready For This? It seems to boil down to what’s been coined Tayornomics, combined with Rizzo being his own fanboy brand of Swiftie. And, like many ball players throughout history, Rizzo is perhaps a tad superstitious.
Taylornomics, as the Wall Street Journal reports, is the math adding up from spending sprees triggered from Taylor Swift concerts. Her fans fill hotels, pack restaurants, shop malls, and even crowd bars. (Is anyone surprised she can also spur home runs?)
“It’s her summer, really,” Rizzo said. “She’s helping the economy in every city she goes.”
Let’s Break Records
Swift has been in the realm of Rizzo’s record-breaking runs for years, and coincidentally has also been spurring on local economies all too happy to accelerate post-pandemic recovery efforts, according to reports. The Eras Tour is on track to become the biggest in concert history, filling football stadiums that exceed capacities of 70,000 people.
With each city offering a couple days of shows, Swift, her crew and her devoted nation of fans can deliver a year’s worth of revenue in just a few days. Swift’s 20-city Eras Tour in the U.S. started in March and wraps on Aug. 9 before international dates begin.
Businesses know to capitalize on this and work to attract fans to their restaurants and stores. Her songs have become special cocktails and her image has been baked into desserts. A museum turned around a quick exhibit of Swift’s tour outfits to coincide with her Eras tour performances.
Rizzo and the Meadowlands Connection
The famous first baseman’s roots in the Meadowlands begin with his parents, John Rizzo and Laurie Rapisardi Rizzo, who grew up in Lyndhurst but moved to Florida after getting married. His mother’s family, the Rapisardi’s, used to own Skip’s Luncheonette in town.
Although Anthony was raised in the Fort Lauderdale area of the Sunshine State, many summers of his youth were spent in the Meadowlands region of the Garden State, where he stayed with his grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins in Lyndhurst.
He always recalled his summers eating the still-famous Italian ice at the Lyndhurst Pastry Shop on Ridge Road. The longtime family-owned bakery run by the Lanzerotti Family since 1948 introduced an Italian ice flavor in his honor. The Anthony Rizzo Special Italian ice is made up of half Yum-Yum – the shop’s signature vanilla bean offering – and chocolate.
The shop started offering the special whenever the Cubs were in the area but the owners were in the habit of shipping ice to Anthony wherever he was, whenever he asked.
Hometown Traditions Continue
Now swinging the bat where his family’s began, Rizzo has said it’s a treat to be close to longtime mainstays that are steeped in tradition, like the Lyndhurst Pastry Shop, Angelo’s Ristorante and Michael’s Salumeria.
Rizzo inked a new two-year deal in March to remain in pinstripes.