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Dodgers Renew Andrew Toles' Contract Despite His Absence from the Field Due to Mental Illness

While Toles’ story is one of immense talent and potential on the field, it’s his struggles off the field that have garnered attention.

Andrew Toles’ story is a heart-wrenching one that has captured the attention of the sports world. Toles, who last played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in September 2018, had his contract renewed for another year last week. While Toles’ story is one of immense talent and potential on the field, it’s his struggles off the field that have garnered attention.

Toles burst onto the scene in the 2016 postseason for the Dodgers, hitting .364 and proving to be a valuable piece in their lineup. However, his career was derailed in 2017 when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament sliding into the wall while trying to make a catch. He missed the rest of that season but returned in 2018, playing 17 games.

Toles’ struggles didn’t end there, though. In 2019, he wasn’t present for spring training, and it was eventually revealed that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In 2020, Toles was found sleeping behind a building at Key West International Airport in Florida, homeless and in need of help. He was taken to a mental health facility, and at last report, he was in the care of his father.

Despite the fact that Toles is unlikely to ever play baseball again, the Dodgers have continued to renew his contract every year so that he can keep his health insurance. It’s a small gesture, but it speaks volumes about the organization’s commitment to supporting their players, even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Former Dodgers pitcher Tom Koehler, who signed with the team in 2017 but was injured and never pitched an inning for the team, praised the Dodgers for their support of Toles on Twitter, saying, “I love this. Saw it first hand how they treated me when I could provide nothing for them. I am not surprised they are helping Andrew. It’s bigger than sports.”

Toles’ story is a reminder that mental illness can impact anyone, regardless of their talent or success. It’s also a reminder that there is still a stigma surrounding mental illness, and that those who suffer from it often face immense challenges.

While it’s unlikely that Toles will ever return to Dodger Stadium to play baseball, let’s hope that he can find some joy in life again. And if he does make it back to the stadium one day, let’s hope that the fans give him the standing ovation he deserves for his bravery and resilience in the face of adversity.

Austyn McFadden


March 23, 2023 at 12:00:00 AM

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