CLEVELAND — Mental Health Awareness Month is over, but June marks Men's Health Month. Cleveland Guardians pitcher Aaron Civale is using both to show those around him that you are not alone. He admits, he tries to keep a level head on the mound. But playing baseball is not as easy as he may make it seem.
"But it's difficult to play this game, there's a lot of pressure there's a lot going on," Civale says.
So Civale is stepping up to the plate. He teamed up with Wilson Sports to create a custom glove for mental health awareness. For every glove bought, $20 goes to LifeAct, a non-profit teaching young lives about the importance of mental health. The effort has raised $3,120 for the cause.
"I had no idea that was something that they did, so that was pretty cool to find out about it first of all. But two, how quick they were willing to jump on it and partner to do that," Civale remembers.
For Civale and his fiancee, Fran, the cause is close to their heart. Both lost friends to suicide in high school.
"Targeting that age is definitely something that hits close to home, first of all, but it's such a delicate age," Civale says. "Everyone's figuring out who they are, who everybody else is, what the world is, there's pressure on figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life. You're 14, 15, 16 years old and you're trying to decide what college to go to. If you go to college you have to figure out what you want to major in, and most people don't even know who they are."
As an athlete during Men's Health Month, Civale wants his teammates to also know, someone is always there to listen.
"At least something that I've experienced communicating and knowing that there's a lot of other people going through it with you, it's comforting. You can talk things out with the guys and know that you're going through it together and everyone's just kind of battling."
Civale wants to be that person -- even if he's not the most outspoken on the team.
"I've said this from the beginning, I don't want to be remembered as just a baseball player, I don't want to be just remembered as just a pitcher. I'm not the most vocal person, but I think doing this type of thing is just a step in the right direction."
To learn more about the services LifeAct offers, click here.
Wilson has already sold out of the left-handed version of the glove, but you can still buy the right-handed version here.
Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated story on May 11, 2022.