The Florida school shooting really hit home for Anthony Rizzo. The Cubs first baseman was a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the same school where a gunman left 17 dead and several injured Wednesday.
In the moments after the slaughter, Rizzo made a tweet, pleading for change. Rizzo, who just arrived at Cubs’ spring training in Mesa, Arizona, a few days ago, wrote: “Parkland and Coral Springs please stay strong! This is out of control and and our country is in desperate need for change. I hope In this darkest of times back home this brings everyone together and we can find love. You’re all in my prayers”
Rizzo, who won the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award for his community involvement and contributions off the field, left Cubs’ camp to go back and console family and friends in the Parkland area.
The shooting also had an impact on Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, who is from South Florida. When first told about the shooting, Almora said: “I go, what school is it? They told me Douglas, and I go, `Oh my God, that’s where Rizz went.”’
Almora said Rizzo took batting practice at the high school in the offseason.
“We’re obviously all here for Anthony and for that school and all those families,” Almora said.
“Anthony’s just a role model for everybody on this team and Chicago, the whole country” Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant said. “Just such an amazing person that he’s going down there and doing anything he can do to help.”
Like Rizzo, Almora said there needs to be change.
Almora on school shooting: “There’s got to be something done. …I saw that there’s been 18 mass shootings in the first 2 months of this year. I don’t care what your political beliefs are, that just can’t happen.”— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 15, 2018
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