CHICAGO -- When Anthony Rizzo crossed home plate after hitting his 24th, and then his 25th home run, he touched his fingers to his lips and then pointed to the sky. It was a message to a 22-year-old cancer patient whom the Cubs first baseman had met earlier in the day.
On Tuesday, Rizzo made his monthly visit to the cancer ward at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, and met one of the patients, Mike, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Mike is a "huge Cubs fan," Rizzo said Wednesday, and the first baseman didn't exactly promise he would hit a home run, but said he'd try.
Rizzo not only hit one, but notched his seventh career multi-homer game, and third this year, and has set a career high in homers this season, topping the old mark of 23, set last year.
Meeting Mike brought back some memories for Rizzo, 24, who was diagnosed in 2008 with Hodgkins lymphoma, and battled back.
"This one hit more at home for me," Rizzo said about meeting Mike, his mother, and his girlfriend. "I usually don't get flashbacks, but I did this time."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.