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Cubs pitcher Javier Assad learned a special lesson from Mexico teammate Randy Arozarena

1 year agoAndy Martinez

As he finished his pregame routine at Wrigley Field earlier this week, Javier Assad began walking down the steps into the Cubs dugout.

While he did, he noticed a young fan calling him out, asking for a ball. Assad looked around the dugout, didn’t see one and, instead of giving up and just walking back into the Cubs’ clubhouse, walked back onto the field and towards third base. The team had left a bag with some balls left in there. So, he grabbed one, went up to a local reporter, asked for a pen and signed the ball before flipping it to the young fan.

It was a simple act of kindness, one that he learned from one of the game’s rising stars: Randy Arozarena, who he played with and got to know during the World Baseball Classic earlier this year and who was at Wrigley Field this week as a member of the Rays, where he’s the starting left fielder for one of baseball’s best teams. 

When Arozarena found out about Assad’s selfless act, he broke out a slight smile.

“That’s good, that’s good,” Arozarena said. “That made one fan happy that came out to support him. He plays too, so he’s indebted to the fans, too, and that’s really beautiful to have that care back to the fans because they pay for tickets to see you play.”

Arozarena has become somewhat of a national hero to Mexican baseball fans after his performances at the WBC. Amidst all that, he’s been gracious with fans. During his time at Wrigley Field, several fans, who donned team Mexico hats or flags would yell out “Randy!” Between drills or turns during batting practice, Arozarena would go to the fans, sign memorabilia and pose for selfies in his signature arms-crossed pose, regardless of whether they were wearing Rays, Cubs or Mexico gear.

“Because the fans help me play happier baseball and that’s why I have a gratitude towards them to be able to share a little bit of my time with them,” Arozarena said. “That makes them happy, and I don’t have a problem with some fans having some sort of connection or identification with me. I try to give that same love and care back.”

Assad has come to appreciate that valuable lesson — going above and beyond to make one fan’s day.

“He’s a really happy person that always takes time out for the fans and for his fans, too,” Assad said of the uber-charismatic Arozarena. “He’s such a good person and we hit it off really well.

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