As soon as Anthony Rizzo heard about the horrific shooting that left 17 dead at his alma mater, he put aside baseball and headed back home to Florida to console family and friends.
The Cubs first baseman left spring training and delivered a passionate speech on Thursday night at the vigil for the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The emotional Rizzo told the crowd “the entire country is grieving with you.”
He added: “Whatever support I can offer to our students, you’ll have it. 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.”
The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo, a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, fought through tears as he delivered a heartfelt speech at a vigil held for Wednesday’s shooting victims. pic.twitter.com/ZJcdgqMkRy — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 16, 2018
Rizzo and his family knew some of the victims, including football coach Aaron Feis, who heroically shielded students from the shooter.
Once again, Rizzo exhibited why he won MLB’s 2017 Roberto Clemente Award for community involvement and contributions off the field.