Anthony Rizzo hits grand slam for young fan raising money for cancer, leads Cubs past Padres

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!”

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.”

Related: The 34 highest-paid players in baseball

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The 34 highest-paid players in baseball
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The 34 highest-paid players in baseball
Eric Hosmer
First baseman, San Diego Padres

2019 season salary: $20 million

Alex Gordon
Outfielder, Kansas City Royals 

2019 season salary: $20 million

Yu Darvish
Starting pitcher, Chicago Cubs

2019 season salary: $20 million

Cole Hamels
Starting pitcher, Chicago Cubs

2019 season salary: $20 million

Jason Heyward
Outfielder, Chicago Cubs

2019 season salary: $20 million

Justin Verlander
Starting pitcher, Houston Astros

2019 season salary: $20 million

Mookie Betts
Outfielder, Boston Red Sox

2019 season salary: $20 million

Yadier Molina
Catcher, St. Louis Cardinals

2019 season salary: $20 million

Freddie Freeman
First baseman, Atlanta Braves

2019 seasons salary: $21 million

Shin-Soo Choo 
Designated hitter, Texas Rangers

2019 season salary: $21 million

Charlie Blackmon
Outfielder, Colorado Rockies

2019 season salary: $21 million

Rick Porcello 
Starting pitcher, Boston Red Sox

2019 seasons salary: $21 million

Jacoby Ellsbury
Outfielder, New York Yankees

2019 season salary: $21.1 million

Buster Posey
Catcher, San Francisco Giants

2019 season salary: $21.4 million

Johnny Cueto
Pitcher, San Francisco Giants

2019 season salary: $22 million

Masahiro Tanaka 
Starting pitcher, New York Yankees

2019 season salary: $22 million

Josh Donaldson
Third baseman, Atlanta Braves

2019 season salary: $23 million

J.D. Martinez
Designated hitter, Boston Red Sox

2019 season salary: $23.75 million

Zack Greinke
Starting pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks

2019 season salary: $24 million

Jake Arrieta
Starting pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies

2019 season salary: $25 million

Joey Votto 
First baseman, Cincinnati Reds

2010 season salary: $25 million

Jordan Zimmerman 
Starting pitcher, Detroit Tigers

2019 season salary: $25 million

Jon Lester
Starting pitcher, Chicago Cubs

2019 season salary: $25 million

Giancarlo Stanton
Outfielder, New York Yankees

2019 season salary: $26 million

Nolan Arenado
Third baseman, Colorado Rockies

2019 season salary: $26 million

Felix Hernandez
Starting pitcher, Seattle Mariners

2019 season salary: $27.8 million

Albert Pujols
Designated hitter, Los Angeles Angels

2019 season salary: $28 million

Yoenis Cespedes
Outfielder, New York Mets

2019 season salary: $29 million

Bryce Harper
Outfielder, Philadelphia Phillies

2019 season salary: $30 million

Miguel Cabrera
First baseman, Detroit Tigers

2019 season salary: $30 million

Manny Machado 
Shortstop, San Diego Padres

2019 season salary: $30 million

Clayton Kershaw
Starting pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers

2019 season salary: $31 million

David Price 
Starting pitcher, Boston Red Sox

2019 season salary: $31 million

Mike Trout 
Outfielder, Los Angeles Angels

2019 season salary: $33.25 million

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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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