Mike Trout lifts spirits of South New Jersey family that lost home in fire

Mike Trout

Angels center fielder Mike Trout interacts with fans before a game against Oakland on Sept. 30.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Angels center fielder Mike Trout brought comfort — and gifts — to a South New Jersey family that lost its home to a fire with a surprise Christmas Eve visit.

According to SNJ Today, Barbara and Tony DeSimone of Buena Vista Township lost all the contents of their house, including their Christmas presents, to smoke and water damage caused by a fire a few days before Christmas. The couple’s two children, Michael and Cecilia, were at school during the fire.

Families from the kids’ school, Edgarton Christian Academy, generated about $1,250 in donations for the family. When Trout, who grew up in nearby Millville, heard of the family’s plight, he came to their home bearing gifts.

“Your house burns down, you don’t have anything for Christmas, and all these people are giving, giving, giving,” Barbara DeSimone told SNJ Today. “Then bam! Mike Trout comes. It’s like Santa Claus arrived.”


Tony DiSimone said his family was especially touched by the visit from Trout, who won the American League most valuable player award in 2014 and finished second in MVP voting in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

“You see how a lot of stars are in this day and age; they don’t remember where they came from,” he said. “But Mike, he’s a true ambassador of Major League Baseball. He remembers where he came from, and he really helps the people in this area.”