Could Matt Szczur have a future as an artist?
Sure seems that way.
A painting by the Chicago Cubs outfielder and Lower Cape May Regional High School graduate fetched $35,000 Wednesday evening at the Bricks and Ivy Ball, a Chicago event that raises money for Cubs charities.
The painting depicts Szczur’s teammates Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo celebrating shortly after the final out of the 2016 World Series. Szczur completed the painting over the winter.
“Honored and humbled that my first painting was auctioned off for $35,000 for such a great cause,” Szczur posted to Instagram, along with a photo of him presenting the painting on stage at the auction event. “Thank you @cubs and cubs charities for allowing me to give back and be part of something special.”
Szczur started for the first time this season Wednesday afternoon and went 1 for 3 with a single and two strikeouts. The Cubs beat Milwaukee 7-4 on Addison Russell’s three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Szczur is a 2007 graduate of Lower Cape May, where he starred in baseball and football. He went on to play both sports at Villanova and led the Wildcats to the FCS national championship in football as a sophomore in 2009. He was selected by the Cubs in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB draft.
Szczur made his major league debut in August 2014. After a 2015 season in which he split time between the Cubs and triple-A Iowa, Szczur spent all of the 2016 season with the Cubs. He batted .259 with five home runs and 24 RBIs and was one of the top pinch-hitters in baseball.
Szczur is well known for charity and community work. While at Villanova, he donated bone marrow to a 15-month-old girl from Ukraine.
Last winter, he hosted his Szcz The Day fundraiser for the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation, a charity supported by Szczur’s football coach at Villanova. The event, held at Cape May Convention Hall, raised thousands of dollars.