aNewDomain — As I write this, snow lies everywhere around my house and the temperature outside is negative two degrees Fahrenheit, but Major League Baseball’s spring training games are already underway. Which gets me thinking about MLB’s Mike Trout.
Because, after finishing second in the voting in each of the previous two years, he won the American League MVP award at age 23.
Mike Trout is, arguably, the most exciting all-around player in MLB. His is, by any account, a talent so rare that he really does have a chance of someday retiring as “The Greatest Ever” something or rather.
As it happens, Mike Trout hails just down the road from my home town of Bridgeton, NJ. Born and raised in Millville, NJ, Trout was signed by the Los Angeles Angels and spends the season living in Anaheim, CA. When the season rests for winter he comes home to his boyhood house in Milville and sleeps in the bed that he slept in while playing high school baseball and in the Babe Ruth league.
Mike Trout is more than just a hometown boy, of course. A ferocious competitor, he was spotted early as a metaphorical “killer,” according to Millville High School baseball coach Roy Hallenbeck.
Uber talented, uber competitive and never distracted by his superstar status, say coaches and teammates, Trout is today widely regarded as the best MLB player in the world right now and likely for a decade to come.
During last summer’s season, when Mike Trout was still angling for his 2014 MVP Award and a $144.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels, US President Barack Obama made a comment about public works that quickly turned into a cultural meme. It’s worth quoting here.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet … the point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.”
So who helped Mike Trout to his skyrocketing career and his already incredible stats?
Debbie and Jeff Trout. Yes, Mike Trout’s mother and father built it all for him because they’re the ones who conferred upon him his talented genetics and carted him around to innumerable games and coaching sessions over the years.
- Jim’s Lunch. Mike Trout is known to eat six mini-burgers in one sitting at this locally famous Millville, NJ deli and restaurant, which has been in business since 1923. Those mini-burgers surely gave, and give, Mikey plenty of protein, animal fats and B vitamins necessary for a boy to grow up strong and healthy.
- All of Mike Trout’s coaches, starting in Little League. Someone had to spot him and encourage him early, right?
- Alexander Cartwright. There wouldn’t be any baseballs at all if it weren’t for this 19th century dude. He’s the one who came up with the modern day baseball rules or their direct antecedents. For instance, he invented the baseball diamond. Without the Father of the Modern Game of Baseball, nobody would be making baseballs and thus nobody would be playing the game — and of course, that means no MLB Mike Trout.
It’s going to be a great season for Mike Trout.
I’ll be watching.
First Image Credit: By Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA , via Wikimedia Commons