Rizzo named Marvin Miller Man of the Year

Rizzo named Marvin Miller Man of the Year

CHICAGO -- The Cubs' Anthony Rizzo received the prestigious Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award from the Major League Baseball Players Association, presented during the Players Choice Awards on Wednesday.

The award is named for the founding executive director of the modern MLBPA and is given to the player who most inspires through his contributions on the field and in the community. Rizzo, the Giants' Buster Posey and the Yankees' David Robertson were finalists.

"This is another amazing award to win, especially because it's voted on by your peers," Rizzo said during the telecast on MLB Network. "It means so much to be recognized for things like this. To be associated with Marvin Miller is something that's incredible for what he's done for the game of baseball."

A cancer survivor, Rizzo established the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation in 2012 to focus on helping children and their families affected by the disease. This year he committed more than $4 million to establish the Hope 44 program at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, which he regularly visits. The 18th-floor waiting room at the hospital is named in his honor. One of the items framed on the wall is a Rizzo jersey, which he asked the patients to autograph.

Rizzo will receive a $50,000 donation from the MLBPA, and he will donate it to his foundation to be used at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, where he received treatment.

It's the second time in a few weeks that Rizzo's humanitarian efforts have been recognized. Last month he received the Roberto Clemente Award from Major League Baseball for his charitable efforts.

"On the field you want to do things the right way, you want to play the game the right way," Rizzo said. "Off the field I really try to use the platform that we've been provided by Major League Baseball to go out and help. It's amazing what it can do to someone -- a moment can last a lifetime for them, seeing a person in a Cubs jersey. That's what I try to keep and remember at all times."

Rizzo isn't slowing down, either. On Dec. 3 he will host his sixth Walk-Off for Cancer in his hometown of Parkland, Fla.

"The foundation has really taken off over the last three to five years," said Rizzo, who also hosts Cook-Off for Cancer and Laugh-Off for Cancer events in Chicago. "We're forever grateful to the donors who come to the events. It benefits kids with cancer and goes directly to families."

Rizzo Family Foundation Cook-Off

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.