When National League starter Johnny Cueto takes the mound in tomorrow night's All-Star Game, he'll see some similarities in the infielders behind him.
The Cubs will be the first team since the 1963 Cardinals to have an All-Star Game's starting infield, and it's something they're all cherishing in the lead-up to Tuesday's Midsummer Classic.
Addison Russell, the only member of the infield making his first All-Star Game appearance, said having Kris Bryant to his right, and Ben Zobrist and Anthony Rizzo to his left will help calm his nerves.
"I'll be able to have people to talk to. If I feel uncomfortable I know I'll be able to talk to them a little bit and they'll wind me down," he said.
Bryant is no stranger to the All-Star Game, having been selected last season as a rookie, but going with six teammates (Dexter Fowler, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester were also named to the team) has made it all the more special for the 24-year-old MVP candidate.
"Having seven guys here, it really makes it a lot easier to enjoy it," he said. "You just have familiar faces."
Rizzo led the MLB in fan votes, and he'll make his first start at first base; he was a reserve in 2014 and was the NL's designated hitter in 2015 in Cincinnati. And while 2016 won't be the last time he plays in the annual All-Star Game, it's something he's not taking for granted.
"Who knows if any of us will ever be here again? You can't predict this game and you need to enjoy these moments," he said. "These are memories that will be made forever, and these are moments you need to cherish."
Rizzo and his infield will get to make those memories together at the same time, doing something that hasn't been done in more than 50 years.
"Being selected in this game with the starting infield," Russell added, "is truly an honor."