Anthony Rizzo, the first baseman of Chicago Cubs, won the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award on Friday. The award is given every season to the MLB player whose character, community involvement, philanthropy and contributions both on and off the field embody the spirit of the late Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente.
Rizzo was honored with award at Minute Maid Park in Houston before Game 3 of the World Series. He was chosen from a group of thirty players, one from each MLB. After receiving the award, Rizzo said, “The Clemente Award is the greatest award you can win. It will go front and center in front of anything I’ve ever done on a baseball field.”
He added, “Obviously with what Roberto did, he kind of set the bar for all athletes, especially baseball players, in all of his charitable work, everything he did giving back.To be a part of this award and (included among) all the past winners, it’s insane to see where our foundation has come from and so humbled to be part of this.”
He also shared his experience of fighting with the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2007. At that time, he told his mother that he liked to lay a foundation to help the people suffering from cancer. As a result, Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation was set up in 2012 that focus on aiding children with cancer and their families. Rizzo has also donated $3.5 million to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago this year.
Rizzo expressed his happiness of winning Roberto Clemente Award on his Twitter account also. He wrote, “Incredibly honored and humbled to receive the Roberto Clemente Award. This award means more to my family and I than I could ever express.”