Trevino's Toy Drive Classic 'brought to life'

November 18th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- walked around The Colony Five Star Baseball Complex, armed with a fanny pack full of sharpies and baseball cards. He was almost always surrounded by a group of young baseball players the entire weekend, waiting for autographs or just a conversation with the Rangers' catcher.

Trevino, the Rangers’ 2021 Roberto Clemente Award nominee, didn’t mind it. In fact, he invites it. That’s the main reason he created the Trevino Toy Drive Classic, a youth baseball tournament in Dallas with 50 teams competing over a two-day period. Trevino said it was like his dream came to life over the weekend.

“It’s been awesome,” Trevino said. “Non-stop signing, non-stop kids coming up to me, baseball all weekend. Everybody’s working, we have the auction going on too. It’s just been crazy.”

A fee to enter the tournament was waived. Instead, each player had to bring two unwrapped toys or children’s clothes to be donated to Operation Once in a Lifetime, an organization that serves U.S. Service Members, their families and veterans. Over 5,000 toys and clothes were eventually donated.  

An additional portion of the proceeds collected during the auction were donated to the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.  

Trevino hopes to make the tournament an annual event, which is more than likely after the success of the first one. He’s always been about charity and giving back. That’s why he started the Toy Drive Classic.

The Trevino Toy Drive itself was started five years ago, when he was coming up through the Rangers’ farm system. It was originally started in Trevino’s hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas, to honor his late father, who passed away in 2013. The toy drive has benefitted multiple organizations, like the Boys and Girls Club of Alice and the West Side Helping Hand most recently. 

Trevino and his entire family spearhead the Toy Drive every year and it’s gradually gotten bigger and bigger as time goes by. This year’s event, the Toy Drive Classic, was the brainchild of Trevino and L’Erin Hampton during last year’s toy drive and high school home run derby at the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders stadium. 

Trevino was initially hesitant, but after getting to know Hampton, it was a no-brainer. 

“L’Erin came up to me and was like, ‘Hey, man, I could run a tournament for you,’” Trevino said.  “And I'm like, ‘Alright, cool.’ I got his number... We came out here for maybe 45 minutes [to check out the fields] and I walked out of here and I was like yeah, I'm gonna do this baseball tournament. I didn't know that L’Erin was gonna bring it to life like this. It's been crazy and it's been awesome. It's a great experience.”

Because of the support system around him, Trevino and his family were able to sit back and enjoy the entire event this year. 

Trevino joked when the event was announced back in September that he would be dragging his teammates out to sign autographs. There was no dragging necessary. Rangers second baseman Nick Solak said he was more than happy to come out, but he was shocked at the sheer size of the event when he drove up to the complex.

“It's really awesome to be able to come out and hang out for a little bit, it's really cool,” Solak said. “It kind of takes me back to the old days, just being that age and playing in tournaments like this when you're at the field all day and it’s just you and all your friends running around playing ball.”

A number of current and former Rangers also came out to support the Toy Drive Classic, signing autographs for the participating players, including John King, David Murphy, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Taylor Hearn and AJ Alexy. Trevino and Hearn even coached one team for a few innings on Day 2 of the tournament.

“We all have different opportunities to help different people,” Solak added. “Jose has been amazing about getting out in the community and helping out with the Rangers Foundation. It's really important to a lot of guys on the team. There's a lot of people that watch us play and cheer for us and I think it's good to be able to give back a little bit in any way that we can.”