Hearing the story about former Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles broke many hearts in the baseball community and sports altogether. A star rising in the ranks of the Dodgers organization in which no one saw the demons hiding within him. Now it seems as things just got a bit worse.
Last Monday, Toles was arrested for trespassing at the Key West International airport in Key West, Florida by a Monroe County sheriff deputy. He was found sleeping behind the Federal Express building at the airport and refused to leave according to police.
Now the family of former Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles spoke out during an interview with USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale.
Morgan Toles, Toles’ sister, explained how the family responded to the news of Toles’ arrest as more of a relief for family members.
“When the news came out, the response from the public was very different from the response from my family. When people saw my brother’s mug shot, it was like, ‘Oh, my God! He’s been arrested.’ You know what my family felt? Relief. It’s really crazy to say, but the mug shot, really, was the best thing ever. We didn’t know whether he was dead or alive.’’
Toles has been in at least 20 mental health facilities since 2019, his sister stated, but never stays long enough to get the help he needs. According to her, he usually stays a week and then leaves onto the next city.
Another problem within the family was Toles being bailed out of jail. They had hoped he would have stayed longer to seek the help he needed, but that didn’t happen as an anonymous person posted his bail, thinking they were helping him. Sadly that just let Toles loose back on the streets. Something the family did not want.
Toles’ mother Vicky spoke on Andrew’s disappearance last year. In February of 2019, Toles had crashed his car in Phoenix, AZ, and was found walking along a desert highway road disoriented and severely dehydrated. He was confused on where he was according to his mother and later was admitted to a Phoenix hospital.
After spending 2 weeks in the hospital he was later transferred to a behavioral health treatment center until mid-April 2019. At that time he was officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The Dodgers and the Toles’ family had kept the secret of his disappearance and illness from the outside world. The team told media reporters that he was absent from the team due to “personal reasons.” The family had been telling everyone that Toles was working out and rehabbing from the knee injury he sustained in 2017.
Alvin Toles, Andrew’s father, said that many of his sons ex-teammates and current Dodgers players reached out last weekend to see how that could help. Dodgers president of operations Andrew Friedman, who drafted Toles while with the Rays said “I have a long history with Andrew, and I just wish there was something more we could do to help.” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner reached out and offered to pay for Toles’ medical expenses for treatment.
“It’s heartbreaking, literally heartbreaking”
– Andrew Friedman, Dodgers president of baseball operations
Hopefully, Toles can get the help he needs to get better. Mental illness is no joke and cannot be taken lightly. This goes to show that even the folks who seem to have it all could be suffering within. You can sit here and question the need for help, but again, how do you help someone who doesn’t want to be helped? Or in the mind of Alvin Toles, the bigger questions remain: “How do you help someone who doesn’t realize they need help?”
Take care of your mental health to the best of your ability. Try and show compassion and be nice to people. You never know what they are going through. If you or someone you know needs help, there are resources.
mentalhealth.org is there for anyone needing assistance.