Former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles hasn’t played since 2018, but recently re-joined the organization in order to have guaranteed health insurance.
The outfielder began his professional baseball career in 2012 when he was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays as a third-round pick. During his three years with the Rays, he reported struggles with anxiety and sleeping which caused him to perform poorly with the team. He was released by Tampa in 2015 and quickly picked up by the Dodgers.
In between the 2015 and 2016 MLB seasons, Toles underwent mental health treatment and subsequently spent weeks working in a Kroger grocery store as a frozen food assistant. While he was ready to get back to the outfield and continued playing the game, he went on to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in 2018 and was admitted to a mental health facility.
Toles never reported to 2019 spring training and largely went under the radar until 2020. In June 2020, the athlete was arrested and charged with trespassing after he was found sleeping behind a FedEx building at Key West International Airport. Following this incident, he was again admitted to a mental health institution and has reportedly been in and out of hospitals and homeless shelters since.
In 2021, Toles’ father stepped up and resumed guardianship over his son who was 29 years old at the time. “He’s not really living, but just floating,” Andrew’s sister shared in 2021, via USA Today. “It’s almost zombie-like. I don’t know if he’ll ever get better. None of us do. But, at least, we’re not worrying whether he’s alive.”
“It breaks my heart thinking about what my Dad is going through,” she added. “He keeps saying, ‘Everything will be OK,’ and doesn’t want to burden me with anything, but I know he’s hurting.”
Alvin Toles discusses his son’s mental health struggle
“I just want him to have a chance in life,’’ Alvin Toles, father to the former baseball player, explained. “That’s all. Just to be healthy, live a normal life. I’d do anything for my son and my kids, and I know their mother cares a great deal, too.”
With this being said, Alvin’s last reported job was a truck driver with a salary that barely keeps him afloat, let alone a son who needs essential medical care assistance.
However, after years of not being in contact with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the franchise re-signed the former outfielder in order to provide Toles with the health care he needs.
As reported by Sports Illustrated, the contract is a $0 commitment but will provide the 30-year-old with consistent access to the team’s health insurance facilities. The Dodgers will also re-sign the contract each year to ensure assistance is always provided.
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