Chicago Cubs’ Rizzo once again shows why he should be captain

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs’ first basemen Anthony Rizzo was honored with the Roberto Clemente Award before Game 3 of the World Series. It’s just another reason why the captain title should return.

When the Chicago CubsAnthony Rizzo was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award, given to the player that best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field–Cubs’ fans weren’t surprised. Rizzo has been a huge donor cancer patients, including his Rizzo Family Foundation. Being a cancer survivor himself, it’s something he understands all too well.

Earlier this year, the Rizzo Foundation made a $3.5 million endowment to the Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. He makes countless trips to area hospitals, has several fundraisers throughout the year, and that doesn’t include the other acts of good deeds he does. 

Character through experience

The character that Rizzo has shown since he came into the league and his selfless charitable work is the main reason why he finally won the award after being nominated five times. And for winning it? $25,000. What did Rizzo spend it on?

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Our Jacob Misener talked about bringing the title of captain back and giving to Rizzo. Not that winning the Clemente Award should be the deciding factor, it should add to the Cubs decision to do so. Being a captain is about more than being one of the best players on the team.

Built though his trials

It’s about leadership. And overcoming adversity and leading by example. It’s about being a good teammate in the bad times as well as the good. These are the things that Rizzo has done since he arrived in Chicago. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer knew that character was there which is why he’s followed these two around since his career began. They knew, and now the baseball world does as well.

The Clemente Award isn’t something that you win and then “relax.” For Rizzo, he knows it’s the families that he’s helping, day in and day out.

"“To be able to be part of this type of award is something I can’t even imagine,” Rizzo said. “That’s the impact we want to make. We want to impact families directly. That’s the staple of this foundation. To help families directly.”"

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The captain’s “C” went away after Sammy Sosa. And Joe Maddon doesn’t seem real big on bringing it back. Instead of being given to one person, he feels it’s best spread out among the team.

But if anyone can handle the responsibility, it’s Rizzo. It’s not a title he would take lightly, or be overwhelmed by. The Cubs will have several changes–as they’ve already seen with the coaching staff–this winter. Bringing back the captain status would be a step in the right direction.