Anthony Rizzo reaches out to young fan beaten at Chicago school

Big League Stew

The Chicago Cubs lifted the spirits of a number of fans during their 2016 World Series run. Even though it’s the offseason, first baseman Anthony Rizzo is still doing his best to brighten even the worst situations.

Rizzo reached out to a 12-year-old Cubs fan named Henry Sembdner on Twitter after seeing his story on the local news. Sembdner was hospitalized after being brutally beaten by a classmate at a Chicago-area school. He suffered facial fractures and injuries to his brain, but has made progress in his recovery. The whole thing started when Sembdner bumped into the other student.

Anthony Rizzo reached out to a young fan in need. (Getty Images/Rob Tringali)
Anthony Rizzo reached out to a young fan in need. (Getty Images/Rob Tringali)
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It’s a pretty awful story, but at least there’s hope for a happy ending. Once Sembdner is able to work his way back to good health, he has an invitation to be Rizzo’s guest at a Cubs’ game.

On top of that, Rizzo heard that Sembdner’s school would allow students to wear Cubs gear Tuesday in support of their classmate. He made sure to get the message out so none of Sembdner’s would miss out on the opportunity.

That support paid off. Sembdner was released from the hospital Tuesday. After being settled in at home, Sembdner’s family made sure to give Rizzo an update on his progress. Rizzo responded by reminding the family he’ll see them at Wrigley Field later this year.

It’s far from the first time Rizzo has come to the aid of a young fan in need. Last November, he formed a bond with a young fan battling cancer. Rizzo, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008, also plays an active role in The Anthony Rizzo Foundation, which raises money for cancer research.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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