With Major League Baseball on hold, several players participated in a sandlot game to raise money for workers impacted by the coronavirus shutdown.
On Saturday night, baseball was played. No, it wasn’t played in front of thousands of fans, there was no network television coverage, the players didn’t wear uniforms. It was sandlot baseball, the kind you played as a kid, or might be playing right now in your backyard as you wait for the Angels to return (I’m picturing you standing on March green grass with a Wiffle bat in one hand and your phone in the other and play has stopped while you read this article).
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer organized the event, pulling together players in Arizona to help raise money for stadium workers who are impacted by the coronavirus shutdown. Bauer started a GoFundMe page where “all proceeds will be donated to support MLB game day staff during this trying time.” As of Sunday morning, nearly $20,000 has been raised toward their $1 million goal.
The game was streamed on social media with all of the players mic’d up. It was a little hard to identify who was playing, but those who looked close enough could see Angels reliever Keynan Middleton playing first base.
ESPN published a mock draft yesterday of the top players their baseball experts would pick for a sandlot team. Naturally, two of the top four picks were Angels players. Shohei Ohtani was selected third and Mike Trout fourth. We could squabble as to why Mookie Betts and Javier Baez were picked ahead of them. Trout remains the best player in baseball, and it seems like having a two-way player like Ohtani would be of extreme value on the sandlot. But let’s not get worked up over sandlot rankings.
Meanwhile, Angels players are still deciding what to do during the break. Andrew Heaney says, “I have a lease till the end of the month and I’ll figure it out from there.” According to Major League Baseball guidance, they can either remain in Tempe, head to Anaheim, or return home to be with family. Heaney told the OC Register that players are still weighing the pros and cons of each decision.
We know news is slow right now, but keep checking back for updates, analysis, and historical moments related to the Angels. If you need to get your baseball fill while everything is shutdown, we are your place!