Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus visited with women and children at the SafeHaven of Tarrant County shelter on Tuesday, along with his girlfriend, Claudia Aznar, and Rangers Captain.
Andrus had dinner with the families, threw a football with the kids and enjoyed an old-fashioned horse-drawn hayride before donating $5,000 to the nonprofit organization, which provides shelter, counseling and other resources to about 5,500 women and children annually.
Why was it important for you to promote this organization? It’s always important to give back to the community, especially to this foundation. With what’s happening right now in sports, all the violence, and domestic violence, it’s always good to be part of this and tell everybody that we don’t have to do the wrong thing. We have to do the right thing to live in the world we want.
Do you ever worry that athletes are sometimes painted with a broad brush? I hope not. There are a lot of things that have happened and for sure there are guys that didn’t mean to do it, but it happens, that’s life. So when you make a mistake you have to take the consequences and learn from it and keep living and do the right thing.
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Do you enjoy lending your name to these types of organizations? It is amazing to help these families. They need a hand, and to be able to help and support them is a lot of fun. You can see their smiles. There are so many futures here and hopefully they can see the good things of life, the good side. That way they can learn and grow as good people.
How much have you talked with new manager Jeff Banister? The day he was hired I talked to him for about 20-30 minutes. He seemed like a great guy. He was open talking to me. He’ll learn about the whole team and keep talking with the guys and get together. I think he’s going to be a good manager.
Who was doing most of the talking? It was both. He talked; I love to talk, everyone knows that. It was a great meeting. It was a brief meeting and the first one of too many, actually, from now on, but he seems like a great guy.
Were you surprised it wasn’t Tim Bogar? A little bit, especially the way he ended up the year. That’s the front office’s choice. And they decided Jeff was going to be better for the whole organization. As a player, you just take that and be hopeful to see what’s coming.
Have you talked to Ron Washington at all? No, I haven’t been able. I did try, but I know he’s probably trying to take care of that part of his life right now. I’m always going to support him. He meant a lot to me for my career and everybody in the clubhouse supports him.
Have you already been able to put the 2014 season in perspective? It’s already gone. I started training two weeks ago. This off-season reminds me of the off-season after my first year in ’09. Because of the situation, the losing, and the way we ended up the season knowing that we have a lot better team, a lot more talent than the way we played this year. I think it was just a rough year, a bump, with all the injuries. It’s already in the past. Mentally I’m ready, I just can’t wait for next year. I’ve preparing myself to have a tremendous year next year and I know all my teammates are the same way.