For most of us, today is our Friday. I truly hope this holiday season finds you happy, healthy, and safe. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus. Whatever your gig, enjoy it.
Nothing says holidays like the giving of gifts. ‘Tis the season of giving and that’s the theme of this weekend links. I’m going to highlight the work the Angels franchise and players do in the community, giving back some of what they are so blessed to have, making differences in lives.
Recently I met a family whose daughter is attending the University of Washington and having the entire tab picked up by the Angels Scholars Program. To say this has changed her life would be an understatement and I have a full length article on the family in the works.
The Scholarship Program is part of the overall Angels Baseball Foundation which gives grants to local charities and sends players to CHOC and public schools. Those videos of players visiting the sick children at CHOC get me every time.
That picture above of Jim Abbott and this fortunate writer was taken at last year’s Orange County Youth Sports Foundation banquet. This group does an amazing job of changing kids lives through the power of sports and scholarships.
Several Angels players have causes they are passionate about, many due to close personal ties.
I honor of their daughter, the Albert Pujols Family Foundation does an amazing job at improving the lives affected by Down’s Syndrome as well as people in his native Dominican Republic.
After losing his best friend/brother-in-law to suicide, Mike Trout is raising awareness and funds for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
David Fletcher works with Summer Harvest helping keep food on families tables and spent last week handing out food in OC.
Jahmai Jones and his brothers are involved with the Lisa Foundation for brain aneurysms because that’s how they lost their father. A truly incredible way to turn heartache into meaningful change. (Note, just wrapped up a Zoom chat with Jam and will post it soon).
Another youngster with tremendous character, Jo Adell established the Jo Adell Foundation as a minor leaguer. Watch his introductory video and add yet another name to your favorite player list.
Victor Rojas supports military personnel, veterans and their families through his Big Fly Brigade program.
This is far from a comprehensive list as many other players are involved in many other causes. Ty Buttrey, for example, is at many charity functions and is setting up his own foundation. I have a Zoom chat set up with him after the holidays.
So if you have the ability to contribute to any of these causes, feel free. If you need any of the services provided by these organizations, I hope the links help.
And if there’s a cause you are passionate about, let us know in the comments below. Me, my Mom runs Toys for Tigers which distributes Christmas toys to kids back home and works with a church to hand out food baskets.
No longform piece this week, but enjoy this documentary piece on Roberto Clemente, who gave his life helping earthquake victims. Each year MLB teams nominate a player who gives back for the Roberto Clemente Award for exemplifying great character.
As far as hard baseball news, there wasn’t much this week, definitely not Angels related.
Former Angel Matt Andriese signed with Boston. He’s basically guaranteed his projected arbitration salary from the Angels but has the carrot of an option year and incentives that could drive his take close to $7 million.
The “Cuban Ohtani”, 22 year old Oscar Colas, was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball. This comes after a year of destroying the Japanese minor leagues and an ugly contract dispute which ultimately led to his being released.
And definitely jump in with your favorite Jered Weaver moments and memories.
In the meantime, please be safe and warm. And feel free to laugh at the dorky look on my face. I’d just met my two childhood baseball heroes, Abbot and Wally. Acting cool was not in the cards.