Cubs' Anthony Rizzo given Roberto Clemente Award

Oct 27 (Reuters) - Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs was named the recipient of the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award on Friday for his charitable work on behalf of children with cancer.

Rizzo's selection was announced by Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred at a news conference prior to Game Three of the World Series between the Houston Astros and visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.

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The Cubs first baseman has been a champion for pediatric cancer patients and their families, especially following his own experience as a survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Rizzo was a minor league player in the Boston Red Sox organization when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2008. Through treatment, he beat the disease, and has since devoted many hours to helping others.

"It means a lot to me when I go into a hospital room and say hello to a kid and they light up like a Christmas tree, for five minutes of escaping the reality, because they're going through treatment," said Rizzo.

"They're battling for their lives and I'm just grateful to be able to go in there and say hello to them and make them escape reality for a second."

The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation was created to support children and families battling the disease and fund cancer research.

Through Rizzo's foundation, the "Hope 44 Fund" was launched and provides financial assistance to families to offset medical costs so no family has to choose between paying a bill and saving their child's life.

Related: Look back at the Cubs' historic World Series win: 

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World Series 2016: Inside the epic Game 7
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Kris Bryant #17 and Addison Russell #27 of the Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: A general view as the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs stand for the national anthem prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Kyle Hendricks #28 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians reacts after tagging out Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs as he attempts to stretch the play after hitting a single during the third inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Rajai Davis #20 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning to tie the game 6-6 against the Chicago Cubs in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 2: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Chicago Cubs pitches during Game 7 of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Rajai Davis #20 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates as he runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning to tie the game 6-6 against the Chicago Cubs in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Rajai Davis #20 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates with Brandon Guyer #6 after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning to tie the game 6-6 against the Chicago Cubs in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after being walked during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs is taken out of the game for a pinch runner after he singles in the 10th inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Miguel Montero #47 of the Chicago Cubs hits a RBI single in the 10th inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Miguel Montero #47 of the Chicago Cubs hits a RBI single in the 10th inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after Rizzo scores a run in the 10th inning on a Miguel Montero #47 against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Ben Zobrist #18 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after he hits a RBI double in the 10th inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with Jason Heyward #22 after Rizzo scores a run in the 10th inning on a Miguel Montero #47 against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Carl Edwards #6 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the 10th inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: The Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: The Chicago Cubs celebrate after winning 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44) celebrates after defeating the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: The Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: The Chicago Cubs celebrate after winning 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: The Chicago Cubs celebrate after winning 8-7 against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) celebrates after defeating the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Anthony Rizzo #44, David Ross #3 and Jason Heyward #22 of the Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Ben Zobrist #18 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with the 2016 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award after the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta celebrates in the clubhouse after defeating the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross (3) is carried off the field after defeating the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards (6) celebrates after defeating the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02: Ben Zobrist #18 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with the 2016 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award after the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 2: Chicago Cubs fans celebrate in the stands after the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by LG Patterson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs outfielder Ben Zobrist celebrates after defeating the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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Baseball Hall of Famer Clemente, a 15-time All-Star outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

"Mr. Clemente was a true hero who dedicated his time to helping others. He set the bar high for what an athlete should be both on and off the field," said Rizzo.

"As a cancer survivor, I know the challenges families face, watching loved ones fight this disease. I want to give them hope there is life after cancer."

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