ANAHEIM -- As an organization, the Angels know how important it is to give back during the holidays. So each year they host a Kids Holiday Party for more than 150 underprivileged children, and this year the event returned to Angel Stadium on Dec. 4.Angels manager Brad Ausmus and reliever
ANAHEIM -- As an organization, the Angels know how important it is to give back during the holidays. So each year they host a Kids Holiday Party for more than 150 underprivileged children, and this year the event returned to Angel Stadium on Dec. 4.
Angels manager Brad Ausmus and reliever Noe Ramirez, a Los Angeles native, were both at the event to meet with the children. They were joined by former Angels pitchers Chuck Finley, Mark Langston and Clyde Wright. The event had previously been held at ESPN Zone, which closed in June, but the return to Angel Stadium allowed the children the opportunity to have unique access to the ballpark.
The children, who came from local youth groups, were given Angels gear as they came into the stadium and participated in a Q&A session with Ausmus, Ramirez, Finley, Langston and Wright. It was emceed by Roger Lodge of Angels Radio AM 830, which co-hosted the event along with the Angels Baseball Foundation.
After the Q&A, the event moved indoors for a dinner where they were able to interact with the current and former Angels players, taking selfies and receiving autographs. They were also treated to a visit from Santa Claus.
The children made ornaments and cards for their family and decorated cookies before they were brought onto the field to play games such as tic-tac-toe, bean bags, air hockey, basket toss and pop-a-shot basketball. They were also given the chance to run the bases, and as they left the stadium, each child was given a toy and pajamas to take home for the holidays.
It was just another way for Ramirez to give back. The 28-year-old is active in the local community and was honored by the Los Angeles City Council in late October for his accomplishments on and off the field. He grew up in public housing in Boyle Heights and attended Alhambra High School before becoming Cal State Fullerton's ace. Since joining the Angels in 2017, he's been active with the Boys & Girls Club in Ramona, annually hosting a baseball clinic for children.
It was also the final large charity event of the year for the Angels Baseball Foundation, which was created in 2004 and focuses on investments in education, healthcare, arts and sciences, as well as community-related youth programs throughout the area.
Other events the foundation has sponsored include the Angels 5K and Fun Run, the Fill the Boot for Muscular Dystrophy event, baseball equipment drives, visits to CHOC Children's Hospital in Orange, the Adopt-A-School Program, the Angels Scholar Award, the Orange County Little League Challengers Classic, the Angels Back to School Program, Readers in the Outfield and a partnership with the Make-a-Wish foundation.
Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.