Jared Walsh has always believed in helping others. As a late draft pick (39th round) by the Angels, he is grateful for the opportunity to be playing in the big leagues as the starting first baseman and selected as an All-Star for the 2021 All-Star Game. While his recent winning of the Angels' Heart and Hustle Award will show that his work ethic and perseverance has led to his accomplishments, he finds ways to give back to the community that has supported him throughout the years.
Through his four seasons in the Major Leagues, Jared has become a familiar face with the Angels' community engagement, volunteering at various clinics such as this year’s PLAY BALL Weekend Clinic, visiting young patients at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, reading library books to children through the Rally Readers program and inspiring young students as an Adopt-A-School assembly speaker at local elementary schools. Even during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic season, when opportunities for community involvement were limited, Jared found himself on multiple Zoom calls with children’s hospital patients to play games with them, providing laughter to those kids receiving care in their room.
During the offseason, Jared and his mother, Lisa, are active volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in Atlanta. Most recently, they worked with Hands on Atlanta during the 2021-22 offseason, supporting the local Atlanta communities impacted with food insecurity by sorting and packing up boxes of pantry items for distribution.
Growing up in Georgia, Jared’s leadership skills really began to shine while attending the University of Georgia as a pitcher and position player, which eventually evolved into him becoming the Angels Players Union representative in 2021. As a child, Jared was inspired by the way Roberto Clemente played baseball as well as his humanitarian efforts of serving people in need. Clemente’s ability to be a positive force in a country that did not initially accept him, and then risk his life to improve the lives of others who had been devastated by tragedy, has resonated with Jared throughout the years. With this year marking the 50th anniversary of the passing of Clemente, it is an honor for Jared to be nominated for this Award by his team.
Losing his father at the age of 19, Jared has seen how being a single parent can impact a family and has chosen The Single Parent Project, an organization that offers financial assistance and resources to single parents, to be the recipient for this donation from MLB Charities. He hopes that his involvement with The Single Parent Project can provide support for families who do not meet the government threshold to obtain relief, with the assistance they need, whether it is financial, emotional or educational.