Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo has proven to everyone that he is as good as advertised when he was a top five prospect with the Boston Red Sox. He has improved at the plate and with his glove since the Cubs acquired him three years ago.
2014 was a big year for Rizzo – he was named to the National League All-Star team. Now officially an all-star on the field, Rizzo is showing he’s a star off the field.Anthony Rizzo gives a lot of his time to different projects and organizations, but there is one that hits a little closer to home – his personal organization, The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.
It was during his own battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 18 that he wanted to be more than just a baseball player – he wanted to be a role model for children and families. He also wants to help the patients and their families who have to fight the same battle as he did. As he says on his foundation’s website, “I believe that an individual does not battle cancer, but rather the whole family does.”
Through his foundation, families are given support and hope. Two things as important as medical treatment itself. In a story written by CBS Chicago’s Chris Emma, Rizzo’s mother Laurie, who is the president of the organization, gave her perspective of what the foundation offers. ““I was wondering what people were doing when they didn’t have that kind of help,” Laurie said. “That was the thought with the foundation. It’s not just for cancer research, it’s about helping families.”
The foundation raises money through different events, “Cook-Off For Cancer”, “Laugh-Off For Cancer”, and “Walk-Off For Cancer”. Through the foundation’s efforts, they have been able to raise more than $500,000* for research and support for children with cancer and their families. *credit branchrickeyaward.org for the figure.
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In 2014, Rizzo was selected as the 2014 Branch Rickey award recipient which recognizes baseball players who give back to the communities and are strong role models for kids.
Rizzo also enjoys spending time with children at hospitals who are battling cancer. The visits are a regular part of his day when Chicago Cubs are not on the road. He goes there to play, laugh, and to put smiles on the faces of the brave children who are fighting the same fight he did.
Being a Major League Baseball player means a lot more than just being able to hit, throw, and catch a ball – it also means you’re in the spotlight and being looked up to by fans of all ages. The Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo is one of those to use his opportunity as a way to help others in need. For this, he truly is an All-Star in every way.