Nats GM teams up with The ALS Association in honor of his sister

June 2nd, 2023

WASHINGTON -- A short distance from Nationals Park at Yards Park, Nationals president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo got soaked by Nats mascots Screech and Teddy for a good cause.

The CEO Soak, inspired by the Ice Bucket Challenge, raises funds and awareness for The ALS Association. Rizzo is honoring his sister Kim, who passed away in 2020 after battling ALS since a diagnosis in '18.

“It’s a personal thing to the Rizzo family with the death of my sister through ALS,” Rizzo said. “She had Lou Gehrig's Disease, and we felt that if we could do something about it to give patients a better way of life and someday come up with a cure for this insidious disease, we felt it was our duty to honor my sister’s memory in trying to help.”

Rizzo is challenging GMs around Major League Baseball to participate in the CEO Soak.

“The general manager community in baseball is a tight fraternity. It’s a very small group of people, and we support each other through a lot of different causes,” said Rizzo. “The early response we’ve gotten from GMs has been outstanding, and we’re looking forward to total support throughout baseball and really put our best foot forward here and get a lot of money so we can really make a difference.”

Rizzo has teamed up with the Nationals Philanthropies, the official charitable arm of the Nats, for the campaign. On Lou Gehrig Day on June 2, all proceeds from the 5050 Raffle at Nationals Park will be donated to The ALS Association DMV Chapter to benefit families impacted by ALS.

“We’ve partnered up with Nationals Philanthropies and with the local chapter of the ALS organization to give them support to beat this dreaded disease,” Rizzo said. “I’ve been doing this for years and we’ve had the Lou Gehrig Day for years, but it really has a whole different meaning to me now. So we’re happy to be partnered up. We really want to do really well for this organization so we can find treatments and someday find a cure for this.”

As the largest philanthropic funder of ALS research, The ALS Association assists those with ALS and their families, funds global research collaborations, advocates for public policies and more.

“ALS is a devastating disease, and we are grateful to Mike and [his wife] Jodi and Nationals Philanthropies for supporting our work to help other families who have been impacted by ALS,” president and CEO of The ALS Association Calaneet Balas said. “Baseball has long been a critical partner in the fight against ALS, and their support has already made a direct impact, enabling us to fund ALS research and expand care services for families affected by ALS, including military veterans.”

More information, including how to donate directly, can be found at

“The DMV is going to come through for us -- I know it,” said Rizzo. “They’ve always been supportive of us, and we think it’s going to be no different this time.”