Anthony Rizzo is a phenomenal baseball player, but, if it’s possible, an even more phenomenal human being.
Which, of course, is why it should be no surprise to learn that he was nominated as the Cubs representative for the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award on Tuesday.
Indeed, Major League Baseball recently announced the 30 club nominees for the annual recognition of “a player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field,” and for the Cubs, Anthony Rizzo is that guy.
This is Rizzo’s fourth nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award (2013, 2014, 2015, and now, 2016), but he has yet to win it. That said, this year can be different. For the first time ever, fans can vote for their team’s representative, by posting any nominee’s voting hashtags to Twitter, MLB, and club Facebook pages. For example, to vote for Rizzo, you simply need to use the hashtag #VoteRizzo.
So … do that!
Rizzo has done more for his community than nearly any Cub I can remember (often performing good and charitable acts purposefully off the radar). According to Carrie Muskat (Cubs.com), Rizzo makes monthly visits to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s hospital, bringing Cubs merchandise, signing autographs, and raising spirits as best he can. In addition, Rizzo contributes to the fight against cancer through the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation – which has raised nearly $2 million for pediatric cancer research and support since its beginning.
Of course, as we know, Rizzo doesn’t just excel in his life off the field; he does some pretty amazing things on it, as well. In fact, not hours after being nominated for the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award, Rizzo crushed two home runs off of Wily Peralta, his 27th and 28th of the season, respectively.
You can watch video of both homers here, or here:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 7, 2016
If you can believe it, both homers were estimated to travel exactly 396 feet, although his second (104.7 MPH) was struck a bit harder than his first (101.1 MPH). After going 2-4 last night, Rizzo is now slashing .294/.389/.552 with 28 home runs and 4.5 WAR on the season. He now has the seventh most home runs (28) in the National League, the fifth best wOBA (.395), and the fifth best wRC+ (148). Anthony Rizzo is good at the baseball.
But to bring it back around …
Every team may have a candidate for the 2016 Robert Clemente award, but Anthony Rizzo is as deserving as anyone. He does a lot for those in need and doesn’t do it for anyone but them. He may not be asking for the recognition, but let’s give it to him anyway:
#VoteRizzo for the 2016 Robert Clemente Award
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) September 6, 2016