Early life and career
Rizzs is a 1975 graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. From 1975 to 1980, he handled baseball play-by-play duties at the double-A level for Alexandria, Louisiana, Amarillo, Texas and Memphis, Tennessee. He became the sports director at WBNS radio in Columbus, Ohio in 1981, where he called Ohio State football and triple-A baseball for two seasons. He was named the Ohio "Sportscaster of the Year" in 1981 by the Ohio Sportscasters Association.
Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers
Beginning in 1983, Rizzs broadcast Mariners games along with Dave Niehaus. His tenure with the Mariners was only interrupted by a two-year stint from 1992 to 1994 providing game coverage of the Detroit Tigers, teaming with Bob Rathbun on WJR. After the end of the 1994 season, Rizzs returned to Seattle, where he remains to this day. In 2000, Rick was named the Chicago-area sportscaster of the year by the Chicago Pitch and Hit Club.
Although he previously broadcast Mariners games on both television and radio, Rizzs was transferred prior to the 2007 season to work exclusively on Mariners radio broadcasts. For the first three innings, he was accompanied by Dave Sims, who was hired prior to the 2007 season, and for the remainder of the game he was accompanied by the late Dave Niehaus (as Sims and Niehaus switched positions after the third inning). Rizzs did play-by-play for the first three and one-half innings, and again in the 7th inning. In games that went to extra innings, Rizzs did the play-by-play for the even-numbered innings.
With the death of Niehaus on November 10, 2010, Rizzs became the Mariners lead radio voice.
During the 2011-2012 seasons, Rizzs did broadcasts of Mariners baseball with rotation of guest color commentators, including former Mariners Dan Wilson and Jay Buhner, and former Mariners announcers Ron Fairly, Ken Wilson, Ken Levine, and Dave Valle.
Rizzs is noted for using the following catchphrases on Mariner broadcasts:
"Goodbye baseball!"- used on home run calls.
"Holy smokes"/"How about that?"- used for exciting plays.
"Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it is grand salami time! Holy smokes!"- used when the Mariners get a grand slam. Formerly used (except for Holy smokes!) by his longtime radio partner Dave Niehaus.
"Happy totals"- used during the postgame when the Mariners win the ballgame, now taken over by Aaron Goldsmith.
Rizzs resides in Issaquah, Washington. He has one son, Nick and two grandsons, Jaxon and Braden.