Justin Dukes covers the Chicago Cubs and their developments for WARR.com
With the post season quickly approaching and the Chicago Cubs seeming to have hit their stride at the perfect time, the team still has shown that in the midst of the excitement of another pennant race, they have the ability to step back and direct their focus to issues bigger than baseball.
Tropical storm Hurricane Harvey, having left a wake of devastation throughout southeast Texas, has inspired an outpouring of support from a wide variety of sources, including the Cubs. Manager Joe Maddon’s upcoming Respect 90 Burnout Classic and Casino Night fundraisers will be directing a large portion of their funds to hurricane relief efforts while the remainder will go towards the Misericordia Heart of Mercy.
Maddon has engaged in fundraising since the early 90s, during his days as a hitting instructor. In 2015 Joe and his wife Jaye created the Respect 90 Foundation. Grateful for his current position in life, Maddon is aware of his success and blessings being made possible due to a winning attitude.
Joining Maddon and his foundation in the relief efforts is Cubs Charities. As fans got to witness the sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates this week, proceeds from the Cubs Charities 50/50 raffle that took place at the games were sent directly to the American Red Cross, which is assisting directly with hurricane relief efforts.
Cubs Charities originally began as a fundraiser for cancer research after the death of infielder Steve Macko back in the early 80s.
Having overcome limited stage classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and his foundation, who have continued to make contributions to cancer research over the years, made one of his more notable donations in the form of a $3.5 million dollar donation to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
Going out of his way this past week to praise Rizzo for his efforts, Maddon feels that the all-star 1st baseman doesn’t get enough credit for his consistency over the years. Rizzo himself speaks of the donation as a step in the right direction and that it really helps to “keep baseball in perspective.”
The Cubs welcome the Atlanta Braves to Wrigley for the weekend before another series against Pittsburgh at the top of next week.
Justin Dukes is a Chicago-based sports writer, follow him on Twitter @1kingzdream.