The mother of one of Major League Baseball's biggest stars has used a picture of her son to deliver a simple message in the name of public health during the pandemic.
Debbie Trout, the mother of Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout, posted a photo on Twitter of her son rounding the bases in a mask during practice last week for MLB's upcoming 60-game shortened season.
"If Mike Trout can wear a mask while running the bases, you can wear a mask going out in public," she wrote with the hashtag #WearAMask.
Trout has also spoken openly about his concerns in playing the upcoming season during the pandemic because his wife, Jessica, is set to give birth to their first child in August.
Trout rarely took his mask off during the Angels' first group practice on Friday, which included the scene shared by his mother.
“Honestly, I still don’t feel comfortable with the baby coming,” the three-time MVP told reporters on Friday. "I don’t want to test positive and bring it back to my wife. I’ve thought hard about this, and I’m still thinking about this.
"My mindset is to play. I want to play. It’s just a tough situation ... There are a lot of questions I don’t have the answer to."
Trout made it clear that he could change his mind about playing the season. MLB is expected to release the schedule on Monday morning.
"I think the biggest thing is, these next few weeks, if I test positive, it’s my first child, and I have to be there," Trout said. "If I’m positive, doctors have told me I can’t see the baby for 14 days. Jess won’t see the baby for 14 days if she tests positive. We’re going to be upset."
Multiple players have already opted out of the season, citing concerns about their health and the health of their families.
Dodgers pitcher David Price, a five-time All-Star and Cy Young Award winner, became the latest to opt out on Saturday, joining Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross of the Washington Nationals, Ian Desmond of the Colorado Rockies and Mike Leake of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle also expressed his concerns to reporters on Friday, according to The Washington Post.
"I think I'm planning on playing," he said. "But at any point, if I start to feel unsafe, if it starts to take a toll on my mental health, with all the things we have to think about and this cloud of uncertainty hanging over everything, then I'll opt out."
Doolittle also questioned the return of sports during a pandemic that has caused the deaths of more than 130,000 Americans, the most of any country in the world.
"It does bring to mind kind of where we're at in our response to this as a country,'' he said at a press conference. "Like, we're trying to bring baseball back during a pandemic that's killed 130,000 people. We're way worse off as a country than where we were in March when we shut this thing down.
"And look at where other developed countries are in their response to this. We haven't done any of the things that other countries have done to bring sports back. Sports are like the reward of a functional society, and we're trying to just bring it back, even though we've taken none of the steps to flatten the curve, whatever you want to say."