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The Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins played a baseball game on Friday night. But more so than any moments or highlights on the field, the night will be remembered for how they came together to honor the memories of the 17 people who were killed during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fla.
Four Stoneman Douglas families were invited to Marlins Park to be part of a pregame ceremony. Each was represented during an emotional and memorable ceremonial first pitch.
Arielle Feis, the daughter of Coach Aaron Feis, Jesse Guttenberg, brother of Jaime Guttenberg, Corey Hixon, son of Chris Hixon, and Ben Wikander, who was shot and is still recovering, handled those duties.
Aaron Feis, Jaime Guttenberg and Chris Hixon were three of the 17 people killed at the Parkland school.
The Marlins even let Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, a 2007 Stoneman Douglas graduate, be part of the ceremony. He was one of the four catchers, along with Miami’s Lewis Brinson, Justin Bour and Miguel Rojas.
The Stoneman Douglas baseball team was also invited to spend time with the players during batting practice. Both teams wore #MSDStong t-shirts just as they did before Thursday’s season opener, and patches with the school’s colors and initials remained on their uniforms.
“It’s going to be cool and it’s going to be another weird, emotional moment, but I’m happy the families came out and the baseball team is here,” Rizzo said before Friday’s game. “I’m looking forward to seeing them. Even if it’s for 30 seconds, to come out and watch a baseball game — hopefully it’ll be a well played game, you want to do anything you can do to help.”
All will agree that Rizzo has gone above and beyond in lending support. In fact, the Rizzo Foundation recently completed an auction that raised $305,000 for the victims & their families.
That check was presented to the families on Friday.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 30, 2018
Major League Baseball banded in support of Stoneman Douglas during spring training, wearing the school’s baseball caps for a game in February. The Marlins and Cubs have done a terrific job carrying that on during opening weekend, and the plan is to continue doing so for as long as support is needed.
“You just want to see what’s best for them,” Rizzo added. “There’s nothing you can say, nothing you can do except be there. That’s all anyone wants to do right now.”
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