After beating Hodgkin's lymphoma, Padres first baseman Anthony Rizzo's dream came true when he made his debut in the Major Leagues. "Going through all that really made me appreciate life -- and especially the game of baseball -- even more," said Rizzo, who wears a LiveStrong bracelet to remind himself of his past (South Florida Sun Sentinel). "It's definitely an inspiration to me to help somebody [who has cancer]. I want to reach out, give them a hand. Perhaps even now being up in the big leagues, I want to help people even more. Give them hope that they can get through it -- the same kind of hope I had." (MLB.com)
Asdrubal Cabrera flipped it and reversed it (MLB.com), and B.J. Upton (MLB.com), Danny Espinosa (MLB.com) and Brett Gardner (MLB.com) all walked this way. Cliff Lee demanded a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T with a two-hit shutout of the Marlins (MLB.com), and Vladimir Guerrero said 'hit me baby one more time' after collecting his 2,500th career hit (MLB.com).
Nationals outfielder/first baseman Mike Morse homered twice on Tuesday (MLB.com), has an absurd .774 slugging percentage over the last month and is on pace to shatter his career-best season hitting totals. He's in "Beast Mode" -- and he's got the T-shirt to prove it. (The Washington Post)
These Major Leaguers are among the most celebrated baseball players in history, but on Sunday they'll all simply be 'Dad.' (FOXSports.com)
On Wednesday night, D-backs utility player Willie Bloomquist welcomed 14-year-old Phoenix Children's Hospital patient Abe Speck to the ballpark. "If you hit a home run today, will you point to me? I have a feeling you'll hit one tonight," Speck told Bloomquist, despite Bloomquist's gentle response that he was a utilityman and rarely hit home runs (FOX Sports Arizona). Bloomquist delivered on Speck's wish in the third inning, connecting for his second homer of the season and pointing up to the boy after crossing home plate (MLB.com). "I hit it and I'm like, 'There is no way that just happened,'" said Bloomquist. "I'm almost tearing up, going, 'This is incredible.' That came from another power. That wasn't me that hit that ball. That came from somewhere else. That made that little boy's night." (The Arizona Republic)
Heath Bell has led the Major Leagues in saves, received the DHL Delivery Man of the Year Award and been named to two All-Star teams. But a few cherished mementos -- a necklace from his daughter, Chinese stress balls, a camouflage undershirt and his father's dog tags -- remind him that things he has off the field are what mean the most. "When I'm on the mound, I think of my family and that I'm doing what I can to provide for my kids," said Bell. "Jasmyne's my oldest, so I have the kids around my neck. Before the game, I'll rotate the relaxing balls in my hand -- that's my [Chinese-American] wife, soothing me. My camo shirt represents what my dad went through in the Marines. He showed me how to play baseball. I don't like to say that it's superstitious because it's not. It's that I'm representing my family. I try to keep them as close to me as I can." (FOXSports.com)
Tweet of the Day: "@shawnkelley23 is now taking nickname request in attempt to #catchtheDA" -- Mariners pitcher Shawn Kelley (@shawnkelley23)
Quote of the Day: "It's instant love, and you can't get anything greater than that. I guess you kind of expect it, but it's never what you anticipate. That's what I'm feeling. It's definitely a stronger emotion that I thought it would be. It's such a natural feeling. I've always been a little timid holding other people's children, but I've never felt more comfortable than picking up this little baby. It just felt perfect." -- Brewers closer John Axford, who become a first-time father when his wife, Nicole, gave birth to son John Jr. on June 6. (MLB.com)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.