The star of the early part of Cubs’ spring training? Anthony Rizzo’s dog Kevin

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Anthony Rizzo works out as his dog Kevin watches at spring training in Mesa, Arizona. (Courtesy: Twitter/Chicago Cubs)

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MESA, Ariz. – After a winter that featured some changes to the roster and a lot of questions about where the team is headed, the start of spring training games has finally arrived for the Cubs.

The Cubs hit the field to face the Padres in Peoria on Monday afternoon, beginning their stretch of Cactus League games in preparation for the 2021 MLB season.

Leading off the preseason for the Cubs is a familiar face with a familiar circumstance in 2021 with the club, as Anthony Rizzo prepares to play in the final year of his contract.

To find some inspiration for the critical season, the first baseman is looking to a newer member of his family for some help.

Kevin, Rizzo’s dachshund, joined him for some sprints on Sunday afternoon ahead of the spring training opener. Since he got the dog, Kevin has made frequent appearances on the first baseman’s social media accounts.

Beyond just working out with Rizzo, Kevin will also be on the field with him in spirit at times this season.

The Cubs unveiled these cleats in tribute to the dog, which feature pictures of a dachshund on the outside and even inside, where the word “Kevin” written on the heel.

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