Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo’s wish to pitch in a major-league game was granted last month when he made a two-pitch appearance in a Cubs’ loss. After that game, Rizzo concluded that his pitching career was likely done.
But that wasn’t the case Monday at his annual ProCamp baseball clinic at the Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont.
Rizzo’s MLB career zero ERA was not intimidating to the young campers selected to hit in the home run derby. And as a result, more than 20 wiffle-ball homers flew through the air under the dome.
How would Rizzo rate his outing?
“It was pretty good, I’m a little sore my from last outing,” Rizzo joked in reference to his ⅓ inning pitched in the Cubs’ 7-1 loss to the Diamondbacks on July 23.
More than 300 campers, aged 7 through 14, and their parents sat in a semicircle around Rizzo, who shared batting pointers between hitters.
“See the ball and hit it,” Rizzo told the crowd. “I know it’s not as simple as that … but that’s what I do.”
Rizzo, who was a little worn out from the Cubs’ thrilling 4-3 win thanks to David Bote’s walk-off grand slam on Sunday night, happily pitched over and over again to eager batters.
“It’s fun to pitch to these kids,” he said. “There’s some good talent here at this camp.
“To see the smile on these kid’s faces, it’s fun. You come out here and you see them all interacting. I’ll go out with the teams and I kind of interrupt with what they’re doing.”
At the three-hour camp, attendees worked on their form during several fundamental skills stations with area prep and college coaches.