LOS ANGELES -- As Chris Taylor tried to establish himself as a full-time Major Leaguer, his focus was strictly on baseball and trying to improve on his craft. While baseball continues to be his main focus, Taylor knew once he was in position to do so, he wanted to make a difference for those in need.
Taylor’s passion to help has been with him from an early age. It continued to grow as he watched his childhood best friend, Kyle, fight a battle with a rare bone cancer in his leg. Kyle ultimately lost the battle with cancer.
“He was one of my best friends growing up through middle school, high school and even into college,” Taylor said of Kyle. “My relationship with Kyle and him losing his fight with cancer was kind of the driving force.”
In 2021, Taylor started his foundation with an emphasis to battle childhood cancer. It’s a cause that doesn’t get nearly as much publicity as other forms of cancer, but one that continues to affect millions of families.
As part of his pledge to raise awareness, Taylor held a virtual concert to help out a few foundations in the Virginia Beach, Va., area, where he grew up. Over the last few seasons Taylor has also hosted events at Topgolf in the L.A. area, which he now calls home.
Those efforts are just a few reasons why Taylor was named the Dodgers’ nominee for the 2023 Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes the Major League player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions on and off the field.
“I’m extremely honored,” Taylor said. “My whole career I was really focused on baseball like 100 percent and almost nothing else. Obviously baseball is No. 1 priority and focus, but once I was able to finally establish myself and secure my position a little bit, I felt like playing for the Dodgers and being given the platform, it felt almost like a responsibility to use it and try to make an impact elsewhere.”