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Cubs First Baseman Anthony Rizzo Returns To Parkland After School Shooting

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Cubs First Baseman Anthony Rizzo Returns to Parkland after School Shooting

Wednesday afternoon, tragedy struck the faculty, staff, and children of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The news shocked the country from all areas including the baseball world. Chicago Cubs player Anthony Rizzo, a Parkland native, has decided to take a step back from the team and return home.

Rizzo’s Reaction

Rizzo was drafted in the sixth round of the MLB Draft out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2007 by the Boston Red Sox. During his time there, he played both baseball and football. His high school’s assistant football coach, Aaron Feis was one of the seventeen who lost their lives that afternoon. Survivors say Feis was shielding students from the shooter as they looked for safety.

After hearing about the tragic event, Rizzo took to Twitter to send his condolences while including a call for help. Rizzo said, “This is out of control and our country is in need (of) change.”

Several of his teammates and manager Joe Maddon spoke about it during today’s Cubs press conference. The all supported him and knew it was something he felt he needed to be there to show love and support.

Kris Bryant went through a similar situation after the shooting in Las Vegas last October. Bryant, a Vegas native, spent most of his offseason there and noticed the aftermath and how strong everyone was. He knows that is something his teammate will be able to help with down in Florida.

Bryant said, “I know Anthony will have a big influence on that in Florida.”

January 25th, Rizzo held an event called “A Night Under The Light with Anthony Rizzo” in Parkland, Florida. That evening, Rizzo and his foundation worked hard to raise money for a new baseball field at his alma mater. All the work would eventually pay off as he was able to reach his goal of $150,000.

Parkland Vigil

The Parkland native joined family and friends as they mourned together at the Vigil. He took the time to speak to the crowded and shared his thoughts.

“We have to be there for each other, we have to cope with our pain and we have to alleviate each other’s pain. We have to be the best possible version of ourselves.” -Anthony Rizzo

Rizzo heartfelt message showed support for his community while simultaneously using a call to action.  He said, “I’m a baseball player, but I’m also an American,” He would go on to include, “I may not have all the answers, but I know that something has to change before this is visited on another community.”

To view his full speech, watch from 23:40 to 28:06 here.

No word on his return but the organization believes he will be back next week.