On his 28th birthday, ten years after a cancer diagnosis, Anthony Rizzo probably didn’t expect to be on the team that ended a 108-year World Series drought for the Chicago Cubs.
Drafted directly from high school at only 17 years old, Rizzo began his career with the Boston Red Sox. Shortly after he started his journey through the minor leagues, Rizzo received a life-changing diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
After six months of treatment, Rizzo entered remission and started toward his return to professional baseball. Rizzo wanted to use his experience as a cancer survivor to inspire others battling the same disease, so he created the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.
In 2012, after spending time with a few other teams, Rizzo landed a spot on the roster for the Chicago Cubs. The first baseman’s position on the team over the past five years has been critical in creating a family-like culture.
“He’s more worried about everybody else and puts himself second,” David Ross, former Cubs player, told Sports Illustrated. “Whether it’s his at bats, batting practice or anything, he’s quick to take a backseat to others. That’s unusual for a superstar.”
From beating cancer to a World Series victory, Rizzo has proven himself as a badass on and off the baseball field.
Here are 28 times Rizzo proved his status as a baseball-god.