In America, some people are consumed with medical debt, and while many people argue for universal health care, we have to live within the system that currently exists until something changes. This means that a lot of Americans don’t have enough health insurance and have to pay very high medical bills. Since health care is tied to employment, people who have no jobs, are likely to be affected more than others.
People with severe mental illnesses usually can’t keep a job long enough to keep their health insurance. This is the same health insurance that gives them access to mental health services and helps them manage their medications. It’s a big mess when it comes to health care, and former Dodgers player Andrew Toles would have been in it if the team hadn’t let him go.
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Andrew Toles signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016, and just two years later, the team placed him on the restricted list indefinitely, essentially retiring the player while he worked on his mental health.
Andrew Toles has still been having trouble with his mental health, even though he hasn’t been playing. In 2018, he was hospitalized for two weeks and diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In 2020, the baseball player’s father, Alvin Toles, a former linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, took custody of him after he was found living behind the Key West International Airport. Toles has been with him ever since.
Andrew Toles hasn’t played professional baseball in a few years, but that hasn’t stopped the Dodgers from extending his contract.
Every year, the baseball team renews Andrew Toles’ contract for nothing and keeps him on the reserve list so that he can keep his health insurance through the team. Mental health care can be expensive, especially for people with severe mental illnesses that may require multiple hospital stays and trials of multiple medications to find the right balance. The fact that the Dodgers keep extending the player’s contract is not only nice but also admirable.
In 2021, Andrew Toles’ father sent an update saying that the player was still psychotic.
We are having challenges, but nothing that God and I can’t handle. Schizophrenia, it’s just so tough. I mean, he can’t even watch TV. He hears voices and the TV at the same time, so it’s kind of confusing. I’ve seen him looking at some baseball games on his laptop, but I don’t think he really understands what’s going on,
Alvin told USA Today at the time.
The fact that Andrew Toles is still on the Dodgers’ team shows the family that they are not alone. Even if the embattled player doesn’t remember his time as a star baseball player or understand the game anymore, his team still has his back.
His name will pop up randomly in our clubhouse. He fit in with us so fondly and was so adored. It’s just sad to see what has transpired and knowing that a lot of it is out of his control,
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told USA Today in 2021.
Man, I would love to see him. I’d love to put my arms around him. I miss him. I really miss him.’
Andrew Toles has been living out his life in a home next door to his father in Georgia, where his dad works hauling chemicals and takes care of his son. USA Today says that the Dodgers hope that one day Toles will be well enough to come to a game when they are in Atlanta.