Summer 2024

Cubs Anthony Rizzo treats kid with cancer to baseball playoff game

When Anthony Rizzo lined a RBI single to right, giving the Cubs a 2-0 lead in Game 1 of the NLDS, Ethan, a Chicago Cubs fan battling cancer, was cheering the loudest.

The All-Start first baseman and World Series Champion surprised Ethan and his family with four tickets to the playoff game against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field. This was done in conjunction with The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.

Ethan’s story is a very personal one for Rizzo, who as a teenager, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008 and underwent 6 months of chemotherapy. That September, he found out the disease was in remission and has looked to help others with cancer ever since.

In August, Rizzo donated $3.5 million to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. In September he gave $650,000 to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Health System to help children and adolescents battling cancer and to promote cancer research.

“This means a lot to me, because I remember sitting with my mom, saying we were going to do this, 10 years ago,” Rizzo said while speaking to the patients and staff at Lurie Children’s Hospital. “To be able to give back and do this type of work is so much bigger than winning a World Series or to do anything on the baseball field.”

For the work Rizzo has done in the community, he has been nominated as a MLB finalist for the Roberto Clemente Award, presented each year to the player who best represents the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions, both on and off the field. It’s an award that Rizzo passionately would like to take home.

“Don’t get me wrong, I want to be known as a great baseball player when it’s all said and done, but I also want to be known as someone who was fortunate to have a big platform and do things within a good way,” said Rizzo on a Facebook post to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation page. “Yeah, I want that Clemente award.”

Rizzo and the Cubs will look to advance to the NLCS Thursday afternoon with a win against the Washington Nationals in Game 4 of the NLDS. The Cubs lead the series 2-1.

To see the rest of the story of Ethan, check out the clip below from the Chicago Cubs Twitter page.