Homeless ex-Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles' family reveals tragic details of his paranoia and bipolar disorder
The family of Andrew Toles, a popular outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has opened up about the baseball player's heartbreaking mental health struggles over the past few years. Toles' battle with mental health came to the fore after the outfielder was arrested and jailed last week in Key West, Florida for sleeping behind an airport. The popular sportsman was reportedly homeless and only had a backpack in his possession at the time of the arrest.
Ever since Toles' circumstances were made public last week, there has been an outpouring of support from the baseball community, particularly some of his former teammates in LA Dodgers. The player's family, however, in an interview with USA Today, revealed how a lack of support for Toles was never the issue, it is his deteriorating mental health which is a cause of concern for them. Toles' sister, Morgan, said that the player, who plays with Dodgers as recently as 2018, has been suffering from bipolar disorder and is even schizophrenic. His mental health has often led him to resist help from family and friends and wander from one city to another. She revealed that the family rarely knows about his whereabouts or even whether he is alive unless he is arrested.
Morgan told the outlet that although Toles has had a history of erratic behavior, which sometimes affected his baseball career, the plunge in his mental health, however, did not begin until nearly 18 months ago. Toles' family, after the end of the 2018 baseball season, had reportedly placed him in a mental health institution, however, he left after two weeks and since has been in and out of around 20 different similar facilities.
Shortly after the player's car crash in Phoenix last year, his mother had reportedly reached out to the Dodgers for help in February 2019. Toles was found disoriented and dehydrated after the crash and was found wandering around a desert in Phoenix. The Dodgers were reportedly eager to help, which led to Toles' longest stint in a mental health facility. He was subsequently released and continued to be supervised by medical health experts. His family at the time believed that the player was making good progress. However, it did not last very long. After a few months in Phoneix, he reportedly demanded to come home to Atlanta but when his father, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Alvin Toles, and uncle came to Phoenix to drive him home, he refused. The player instead ran from them and stayed out of touch for the longest time.
His sister told the outlet that was the family really wants is guardianship over Toles. According to Morgan, without legal guardianship, her brother's cycle of going in and out of mental health facilities and his subsequent arrests will continue. Morgan claimed that since her family does not have any authority to force him to stay in a facility, he is often released and can travel anywhere he wishes with his baseball earnings, which is over $1 million.
After the revelation of the player's mental health last week, his family also said that they are relieved things are out in the open. They had originally chosen to keep his mental health a secret from everyone except his baseball team. The player's father said: "You cry every day, you pray every day. It’s a relief that you know he’s alive. And now there’s no need to hide anything. Everyone now knows he has a mental illness. Maybe this is how God meant for this to end. Now people know. People are reaching out and asking how to help. “We just need to find him. We need to bring him home. But he keeps running. He’s in this state of paranoia. He’s running from people. He just keeps running like someone is after him. He really needs help before it’s too late."