Though the first baseman, Anthony Rizzo has no All-Star title or no World Series parade to show for this past season – he will take something else home that he considers one of the biggest honors of his career.
On Friday – Rizzo was honored with baseball’s 2017 Roberto Clemente Award winner for his year-round work with pediatric cancer patients and fundraising for cancer research and family support.
“It’s insane over the past few years how many people tell me we helped someone out, and it makes me so happy,” said Rizzo, a cancer survivor who in 2008 as a Red Sox minor leaguer was diagnosed with Limited Stage Classical Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Rizzo regularly visits hospitals, talking with pediatric patients and their families, and offering support and sharing his experiences – of course, on occasion – sharing the autographed photo, ball or jersey.
“To touch lives like that, it’s something you can’t really explain,” said Rizzo, who shares his time and resources primarily with the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.
“Baseball is my passion, but to be able to reach out on a different level than that is something that I’ll never overlook,” said the three-time All-Star, who has four consecutive 30-homer seasons.
“Baseball awards are amazing, but to be able to be a part of this type of award is something else.”