ANAHEIM -- It’s the holiday season, so it means it’s a time of giving for the Angels’ organization with their charitable efforts.
Here’s a look at their biggest upcoming events and a few others from throughout the year:
Kids Holiday Party
It’s the biggest charity party of the year for the Angels, who invite more than 450 local children to Angel Stadium in December for the annual Kids Holiday Party. Angel Stadium is transformed into a holiday village complete with snow and a visit from Santa Claus. It also features sledding stations, a speed-pitch station and carnival-style games.
Last year, outfielder Mickey Moniak and reliever Zack Weiss joined the festivities and met with the children from several local youth organizations. Groups that participated last year included the Anaheim Family YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Anaheim-Cypress, Boys and Girls Club Westminster, Easterseals Disability Services, OC Rescue Mission, Olive Crest and Project Access.
The children who participate receive pajamas, Angels hats, promotional items, holiday crafts, candy canes and a new toy from Santa and his reindeer.
Angels Nike RBI Youth Camp
The Angels hosted the Nike RBI Youth Camp at Angel Stadium on Oct. 27, bringing nearly 200 children to participate in a baseball camp. Former Angels Ernesto Frieri and Adam Kennedy helped out as guest instructors, as the children threw off the mounds in the bullpen, ran in the outfield and spent time in the dugouts.
The event helped raise funds for the local Angels Nike RBI program, which allows participants free baseball opportunities. More details about the Angels’ RBI League can be found at https://www.mlb.com/angels/community/rbi.
Ohtani donates gloves to Japanese elementary schools
Two-way phenom and two-time AL MVP Shohei Ohtani showed his generosity earlier this month, when he announced he’s set to donate 60,000 gloves to elementary schools in Japan. Ohtani, who is donating the gloves in conjunction with New Balance, said he’s hopeful it’ll help inspire more children to play baseball.
“I’m hoping the kids can spend their days happily with a lot of energy through baseball,” Ohtani wrote. “I’ll be looking forward to sharing the field one day with someone that grew up using this glove!”
Trout named Roberto Clemente Award nominee
Superstar Mike Trout was named the club’s 2023 nominee for the annual Roberto Clemente Award, which is considered baseball’s most prestigious individual honor and recognizes the Major League player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. Aaron Judge ultimately won the award, as announced before Game 3 of the World Series.
But it was still an honor for Trout, who is using his platform to advocate for mental health. Trout, a three-time AL MVP and 11-time All-Star, became an MLB Mental Wellness Ambassador this year. He also works closely with the Make-A-Wish foundation and he helped fulfill 7-year-old Eli Velasquez’s dream before a game at Angel Stadium, which was featured as part of ESPN’s My Wish series.
Other charitable efforts
• The Angels raise money for the Angels Community Fund by auctioning off items at angels.auctions.mlb.com. The club often auctions game-used items, especially from star players such as Trout and Ohtani.
• Other events and initiatives include the Christmas in June Toy Drive, the Angels 5K and Fun Run, baseball equipment drives, visits to local children’s hospitals, the Adopt-A-School Program, the Angels Scholar Award, the 8th Grade AVID scholarship, the Angels College Scholarship, Rally Readers, Play Ball Weekend, the Mystery Grab Bag, Classroom Connections, Back 2 School Drive, the Military Salute Program, Angels Home Run Donation, the Clemente Clinic and the JR42 Clinic.
OHTANI WINS AL MVP AWARD UNANIMOUSLY
Ohtani made even more history on Thursday, becoming the first player to win multiple MVP Awards unanimously, as he also accomplished the feat in 2021. Ohtani received all 30 first-place nods from the voters from the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), including me, as I had an AL MVP selection this year.
It was a deserving honor for Ohtani, who found out he had won after an amusing segment with Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson on MLB Network, as Jackson was unaware he was scheduled to announce the winner. Ohtani then immediately gave his dog a high-five to celebrate.
Ohtani briefly spoke on MLB Network through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara but wasn’t available for his scheduled conference call due to what MLB officials called “circumstances outside of Ohtani’s control.” Ohtani, who is currently a free agent, was asked about his elbow and indicated his recovery is going well, although it’s still not known exactly what kind of procedure he had to repair his torn ulnar collateral ligament.
“As far as the rehab, it’s going great right now,” Ohtani said. “It feels a lot better and faster than the first time I had the surgery. But I can’t rush and I have to take the right steps, and my goal is to come back strong next year.”
ANGELS COACHING STAFF COMING INTO FOCUS
The Angels are building their coaching staff under manager Ron Washington, announcing Johnny Washington as the club’s hitting coach, Bo Porter as first-base coach and Jerry Narron as catching coach. The club previously announced it is hiring Eric Young Sr. as third-base coach and Ryan Goins as infield coach.
Johnny Washington joins the Angels from the Cubs, where he was an assistant hitting coach. Washington, 39, is a Long Beach native who also served as hitting coach for the Padres from 2017-19. He's not related to Ron Washington. He replaces Marcus Thames, who left to join the White Sox.
Porter, 51, was manager of the Astros from 2013-14. His last coaching role was the Braves' third-base coach from 2015-16, before he was replaced by Ron Washington. Porter is a New Jersey native but has lived in Houston since 1996 and has a particularly close relationship with Houston native Anthony Rendon.
Narron, 67, was already in the organization as Minor League catching coordinator but now joins the Major League staff. He previously served as manager for the Rangers (2001-02) and the Reds (2005-07) and last coached in the Majors with the White Sox from 2021-22.
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