Annual party puts Angels in the holiday spirit

Annual party puts Angels in the holiday spirit

Annual party puts Angels in the holiday spirit
ANAHEIM -- For the last five or six years, parts of which he wasn't even in the Majors yet, Orange County product and Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo has been attending the Children's Holiday Party, which annually provides an unforgettable Christmas for underprivileged kids.

For him, it never gets old.

"I look forward to it every year," Trumbo said. "It's almost a no-brainer. If I'm in town or available, I'm going to come to it. Seeing how happy these kids are, and how excited these kids get, you can't help but get pumped up, too. It's really special. As a kid growing up, I went to some events -- not this, but things like this -- and I remember how cool it was for me going. So if I can give back, that's what it's all about."

For the third straight year, and in continuation of a tradition that has been going on since the 1980s, the Angels hosted about 200 children and 40 chaperones at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney on Wednesday.

The kids came from various Orange County groups, including Eli Home, Olive Crest Kristie's Foundation, Kidworks, Orangewood Children's Home and several local Boys & Girls Clubs. They heard a Christmas story ("Must Be Santa" was this year's choice), got all the autographs they wanted, played in the arcade, received Angels gear, took home presents, ate dinner and met Santa Claus.

Trumbo was joined by manager Mike Scioscia, athletic trainer Rick Smith, bullpen coach Steve Soliz and three SoCal-bred teammates -- C.J. Wilson, Hank Conger and new reliever Ryan Madson -- in an event put on by the Angels Baseball Foundation and AM830.

"It's everybody's dream to play for their hometown team," Wilson said. "But not only that, you get to donate time, money and love to your hometown community, and that's even better."