11/23/11 4:00 PM EST
Angels' Trumbo thankful for holiday family time
By Quinn Roberts / Special to MLB.com
Many would say the holiday is a time to give thanks for what one has.
For Mark Trumbo of the Angels, that includes his family.
While Trumbo has a lot to be thankful for after his first full season in the Majors, especially after finishing second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Thanksgiving is all about family camaraderie for the first baseman.
Growing up in Orange County his whole life, where he lived only 10 minutes away from Angel Stadium, Trumbo and about 10 to 12 family members will gather there this year.
"Everyone talks baseball and just shares stories. It is usually a pretty low-key family affair," Trumbo said. "The fact that everyone can get together is always something to look forward to.
"It is really a time for reflection on the year."
That day also includes some of Trumbo's favorite food. However, don't count on seeing him in the kitchen.
Every year, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound first baseman can't wait to dig into his grandma's homemade stuffing, some pumpkin pie and layered 'Texas' pie, full of pecans, pudding and whipped cream.
"Even all the way back to when I was eight, I remember being so excited for my grandma's stuffing," Trumbo said." I still look forward to it every Thanksgiving."
It's that type of home cooking Trumbo misses as he travels through countless cities and states while on the road during baseball season.
So, as the weather turns colder and Trumbo gets his biggest break of the year, he relaxes on Thanksgiving and takes the time to catch-up with family he sometimes hasn't seen in months.
And while the conversations this year may have a different feel after such a successful 2011 season, Trumbo understands just how fortunate he is at only 25 years old to play the game he loves with the team he grew up adoring.
That's why during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, Trumbo usually donates canned food for the less fortunate or serves Thanksgiving dinners to the homeless at local shelters or churches.
Trumbo said he'll try and take part in those same activities this year, doing what he can for a community that's helped him reach his goals.
"I feel so lucky to have grown up and now live in Orange County," Trumbo said. "It is one of the best places in the entire country. And through all the highs this season, I've been able to share everything with my family who is here."
Those highs included leading all AL rookies in slugging, doubles (31), total bases (257) and extra-base hits (61) as well as homers and RBIs.
Trumbo's team-leading 29 home runs were the most by an AL rookie since Nomar Garciaparra in 1997. He also hit .254 and led the Angels with 87 RBIs and a .477 slugging percentage.
Voted the team's Most Valuable Player by his teammates, Trumbo was also named the AL Rookie of the Year in the Players Choice Awards and by The Sporting News.
"I am grateful for the opportunity I had," Trumbo said. "I am looking forward to building on it next year. I created a lot of great memories with the Angels this past year that I'll remember forever."
Yet, once he steps off the baseball diamond, Trumbo's family continues to create memories every Thanksgiving that leave an indelible mark on him.
"Especially as every one gets older..." Trumbo said, "I really appreciate all of the time we have together."
Quinn Roberts is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.