CHICAGO -- The fact that Mike Trout hasn’t played a game for the Angels since May 17 means he hasn’t been able to compete for the end-of-the-year honors he’s normally in the mix for, but that didn’t stop him from being in line for another prestigious award.
Ahead of the 20th annual “Roberto Clemente Day” on Wednesday, Major League Baseball announced the 30 nominees -- one from each club -- for the 2021 Roberto Clemente Award on Tuesday. Trout was chosen to represent the Angels. Nominees can be voted for here.
“We are excited to have Mike Trout be the Angels nominee for this year’s Roberto Clemente Award,” Angels chairman Dennis Kuhl said. “This is the second year in a row that he is the club’s nominee as he exemplifies the characteristics of Roberto Clemente with his support to the community and his involvement with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. His infectious and positive personality and his selfless commitment to the community enriches the lives of all around him.”
The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
Suicide awareness and mental health is one of the main causes for Trout and his wife, Jessica, after the death by suicide of Jessica's brother, former Angels Minor Leaguer Aaron Cox, in 2018. They partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention -- with whom they’ve worked as benefactors since 2020 -- and the apparel company Tiny Turnip to create an initiative called "Your Game Isn't Over Yet ;" (the semicolon represents the symbol for suicide prevention).
Trout also worked together with the Orange County Health Care Agency last September to kick off Suicide Prevention Month. This year, Trout has continued to work with “Each Mind Matters,” to provide support for programs focused on mental health, in addition to his continued involvement with “Make-A-Wish."
The Angels will honor Trout on Roberto Clemente Day during a pregame celebration on Friday when they host the A’s at Angel Stadium.
“Tell you one thing about Michael,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of his superstar who's been out with a calf strain for most of the year. “I've been around other teams where really good players have gotten injured. Michael is here every day. From the moment he was permitted to be with us, he's been with us every day. He's in the dugout every day at the start of the game. After every game that we win, he stands there and he high fives everybody walking into the door.
“Off the field, he's very philanthropic. The guy's one of the most normal people I've ever met with the superstar status that he has accumulated. I really enjoy my conversations with him daily. He kind of seeks them out, and I seek them out with him. He's just such a great representation of this organization and of baseball.”
Though Maddon has only gotten to know Trout over the past two seasons, in seeing what Trout does both for his team and for his community, the skipper feels that Trout is the perfect player to represent the ballclub -- and maybe even win the award in the end.
“He's that good of a guy,” Maddon said. “The way his teammates interact with him and how he supports the young guys. Brandon Marsh is playing in [Trout’s] position right now, and I cannot tell you how much this fellow pulls for Brandon Marsh on a nightly basis. It's so fun to watch.
“So the accumulation, the cumulative concept of this award both on and off the field, to me, absolutely he qualifies for it.”