Heaney's Honduras trip highlights Angels' giving spirit

Pitcher makes annual visit to help build learning center for orphans

Heaney's Honduras trip highlights Angels' giving spirit

ANAHEIM -- It's been a total team effort by the Angels this year as they give back and make a positive impact in the community, both at home and abroad.

As part of the Thanksgiving spirit, the Angels' groundskeepers hosted their 15th annual holiday canned food drive last weekend at Angel Stadium. The three-day charity event raised nearly $30,000 and brought in three tons of food, with all of the proceeds benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.

Meanwhile, some 3,000 miles away in Honduras, Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney returned for his annual mission to help start and maintain a learning center for orphans.

Over the last three years, Heaney has been part of a small group of big leaguers to travel during the offseason to Honduras to help build a learning center in the outskirts of the city of El Progreso, located about 20 miles from San Pedro Sula, which is the second-largest city in the Central American nation.

This time, Heaney and several other players, all represented by ICON Sports Management, delivered new tables and lockers for the learning center, which features a meeting room and two classrooms.

The Angels did their part, too, sending Heaney down with school supplies and Angels baseball caps.

Heaney's charity work in Honduras is one of the main reasons he was this year's Angels nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

In fact, Heaney and the Angels' philanthropic work with children is not limited to one community.

Throughout this past season, Angels players, coaches and front-office staff made six trips to Children's Hospital of Orange County, where they focused their attention on lifting the spirits of patients and their families.

Players distributed Angels items, signed autographs and interacted with the children, bringing countless smiles and laughs.

Heaney accompanied the Angels' contingent on five trips, while Jett Bandy made three visits and Mike Morin made two. Other Angels players who participated in the hospital visits included Mike Trout, Cam Bedrosian, Kaleb Cowart, Johnny Giavotella, Cliff Pennington, Gregorio Petit, Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago, Andrelton Simmons and Matt Shoemaker. Also involved were Angels coaches Ron Roenicke and Steve Soliz.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.