Former Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo tests positive for COVID-19
Rizzo, a cancer survivor who celebrated his 32nd birthday Sunday, was traded from the Cubs to the Yankees on July 29.
Former Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo tested positive for COVID-19, Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced Sunday. Traded to the Yankees last week, Rizzo declined to be vaccinated while with the Cubs.
Rizzo, who turned 32 Sunday, was dealing with light symptoms from the virus, Boone said. He was off to a fast start with the Yanks, hitting three home runs with a .963 OPS in nine games before going on the COVID-19 injured list.
Rizzo is a cancer survivor, and while he hasn’t had any issues in several years, scientific research has shown the effect the virus can have on people with compromised immune systems.
“For me, it’s just one of those things,’’ Rizzo said last month. ‘‘I’m definitely not against getting it. It’s just taking more time to see the data on all of it. There’s definitely personal reasons, as well, but it’s just one of those things where as we continue to get more data, I’ll continue to be more educated on it.”
He was one of several Cubs who declined to be vaccinated. Right fielder Jason Heyward also revealed publicly in June that he had not received the COVID-19 vaccine. But Rizzo and Heyward don’t consider themselves anti-vaxxers.
It’s unclear if either had gotten the vaccine since those comments.
“I texted him a happy birthday today and hope he’s feeling OK,” Cubs manager David Ross said before the game against the White Sox. “I think our thoughts are with Rizz and making sure he’s OK.”
The Cubs are still one of a handful of teams who have not reached the 85% mark of Tier 1 personnel who have gotten vaccinated.
“I believe the science was clearly behind [the vaccine], but obviously not everyone agrees with that,’’ Cubs president Jed Hoyer said in June. ‘‘If everyone did agree, we’d be well above 85%.’’