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Rizzo moved by response to high school tragedy

Donning Stoneman Douglas cap, first baseman notes youth effort
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was wearing his high school baseball cap again on Friday, but it wasn't for the reasons he would like.

All Major League Baseball teams were wearing Marjory Stoneman Douglas caps on Friday to honor the victims killed at the Parkland, Fla., high school on Feb. 14. Rizzo, who is not scheduled to play in the Cubs' Spring Training opener against the Brewers, was wearing it for the workout on Friday. The Cubs will wear the caps again on Saturday for the home opener against the Rangers, and Rizzo will be in the lineup then.

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MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was wearing his high school baseball cap again on Friday, but it wasn't for the reasons he would like.

All Major League Baseball teams were wearing Marjory Stoneman Douglas caps on Friday to honor the victims killed at the Parkland, Fla., high school on Feb. 14. Rizzo, who is not scheduled to play in the Cubs' Spring Training opener against the Brewers, was wearing it for the workout on Friday. The Cubs will wear the caps again on Saturday for the home opener against the Rangers, and Rizzo will be in the lineup then.

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Was there much of a difference between his high school cap then and now?

"Ours were fitted," Rizzo said. "It's the same logo. Not much has really changed there over the years."

Tweet from @ARizzo44: #MSDStrong pic.twitter.com/1tcv6UzK0D

A lot changed on Feb. 14 when a gunman shot and killed 17 people at the high school. Rizzo went back to be with family and friends, and he spoke at a prayer vigil the day after the shooting.

Rizzo was impressed by the efforts by Stoneman Douglas students who have met with lawmakers this week.

"It's our future, it's our youth," Rizzo said. "It's what our country will run on in years to come. It's people who have a voice, and they're using it -- whether it's fighting for this or that. When a lot of people come together, it's amazing the power they have."

Video: Baseball pays tribute to Stoneman Douglas victims

He's been approached by people who have shown their support.

"This is a big-time subject," Rizzo said. "Everyone has come out of the woodwork to show their love and support for the community I live in, the school, the kids. It's been really nice to see people come out and approach me and go out of their way. It's much appreciated."

Video: Heyward on Stoneman Douglas hats and Anthony Rizzo

Cubs manager Joe Maddon addressed the caps prior to Friday's game.

"It's unfortunate that we're wearing them, but we're showing our support," Maddon said. "We're not just wearing them, we're on board. None of us ever want to see anything like that happen again. We have to do everything possible to prevent that from happening again. I love the activism by the kids [in Parkland]."

Video: Maddon talks MLB efforts to honor Parkland victims

Maddon knows Rizzo may be asked about the topic often this spring.

"Of course, it's going to be difficult," Maddon said. "The crazy, wonderful thing about our game is once you're here, for whatever reason, you're able to stay here. There might be a lull in the action, somebody might remind him, but regardless of your questions before and after, he'll get this respite during the game.

"We could not be more proud of the way he's handled himself," Maddon said.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo