The Chicago Cubs are 24-6 and off to a scorching start of the season. The team is flat-out playing great, outscoring and out-pitching opponents.
Cubs hitters are doing their job. One of the linchpins in the Cubs offense is first-baseman Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo, 26, is one of the elder-statesman of this young team. He is a two-time All-Star – and based on his early power production, may be making the case for another selection. He leads the Cubs with 10 homers and 28 runs batted in, on an offense that is clicking.
He is hitting .270 this season. Last season he hit .278, with 31 home runs and 101 runs batted in. His slugging percentage was a gaudy .512.
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An interesting tidbit came to the surface in the aftermath of the Cubs walking Nat’s Bryce Harper 6 times, three intentionally in Sunday’s game.
The Cubs did not let Harper beat them and Chicago prevailed in extras, winning the game 4-3, on a Javy Baez blast to left field in the bottom of the 13th inning.
Harper spent a lot of time at first base and Cubs first baseman Rizzo told Chicago Tribune reporter Chris Kuc that “he ran out of stuff to talk about” with Harper. “We talked about life, baseball, everything,” Rizzo said.
One thing that fans might not know about Rizzo is that he had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, cancer, at the age of 18 while he was in the single A ball. Rizzo got treatment and had six month’s of chemotherapy and the cancer went into “remission.”
In November of 2008, his Dr. told him, “I can live a normal life.” Rizzo took that new lease and became a major league ball player. He was in the San Diego Padres organization but was traded to the Cubs. So far, it’s turned out well for the Cubbies.
In 2012, Rizzo started the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation which raises funds for cancer research and provides support of children and their families. The Foundation is run by Rizzo’s family, close friends, and he provides oversight, visibility, and leadership. The Foundation believes that children and families deserve a fighting chance.
Benefits and events are held throughout Chicago during the year. Next month, a “Cook-Off for Cancer” will be held at a Chicago venue that is already sold-out. It involves some of the top chefs in Chicago preparing their signature dishes which are served by Chicago Cubs players.
Anthony Rizzo is a top hitter for the Cubs but he is also doing big-time work with his Foundation. He is a role model for a lot of people in Chicago and other cities. He plays the game he loves and he is a reason why Chicago is off to a great start.