There hasn't been much to smile about this year for the Chicago Cubs. Just ask Jack White.
But Anthony Rizzo, the 24-year-old first baseman who's positioned himself as the team's franchise player of the future, is finding new ways to offer reason for hope — a rare commodity by tradition in Wrigleyville.
Rizzo promised a Cubs fan named Mike Kasallis, who was recently diagnosed with leukimia, that he'd hit a home run for him during Tuesday's game against the Padres.
He managed to do Kasallis one better, hitting two homers to take over the National League with 25.
Rizzo, a cancer survivor himself, has been a source of inspiration for many in Chicago through his Anthony Rizzo Foundation, but Tuesday's performance offered a taste of myth-making that money can't buy.
The feat evoked memories of Paul O'Neill's appearance in a 1995 episode of Seinfeld, where Kramer promises a sick boy that O'Neill will hit a pair of home runs for him.
After clearing the fences early on, O'Neill winds up disappointing the child by hitting an inside-the-park home run for his second — a play later ruled a triple and an error.
Rizzo, smartly, took it out of the official scorekeeper's hands.