Matteo Lambert, a 9-year-old from Vienna, Virginia, asked Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo for a “moonshot” ahead of their game against the San Diego Padres on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, a big ask for any player in the league.
Rizzo, though, delivered.
Rizzo drilled a grand slam 366 feet over the left field wall in the third inning of the Cubs’ 6-5 win against the Padres on Friday, marking his first home run since June 15.
While that feat was impressive on its own, Lambert’s reasoning for the “moonshot” was even more so.
Lambert helped organize a group who is running a 5K race in Grant Park in Chicago this weekend to help raise money for children who have cancer. He stopped by the dugout before the game to deliver a letter to “Mr. Rizzo” with the goal to “help kids be kids!”
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 19, 2019
Naturally, Rizzo dedicated his grand slam to Lambert.
“That was for him,” Rizzo said, via 670 The Score. “He is running a 5K tomorrow for kids with cancer. It was cool he could come out and hang here.”
Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 18, and has since founded the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation — an organization that raises money for cancer research and provides support for their families.
Seeing Lambert, who hasn’t been diagnosed with cancer and yet raised nearly $20,000 for the cause, is incredible.
“He wrote me a note before the game saying, ‘Let's help kids be kids,’” Rizzo said, via 670 The Score. “This is a nine-year-old helping raise money running 5Ks, and he is completely healthy. It's amazing to see little kids give back and to see what a big heart he has.”
Francisco Mejia hit an RBI double in the fifth to tie the game back up, though Javier Baez hit a solo shot in the bottom of the inning to put them back up on top. While Josh Naylor hit a homer of his own in the eighth, the Cubs broke the tie in the bottom of the inning after an error by first baseman Eric Hosmer, which allowed Addison Russell to score.
The win for the Cubs marked their sixth in the past seven games, and the first in their three-game series against the Padres. Rizzo’s homer was also his 20th of the season, marking the seventh-straight year that he has hit that mark.
“Home runs come in bunches usually,” Rizzo said, via 670 The Score. “I knew I had not hit one in a while. It has happened to me before in my career. You stay the course in the process. Take what they give you and get your hits.”
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