The Millville Meteor. No, it’s not the name of another potentially life-threatening meteor that would fly ‘extremely close to Earth’ as claimed by leading newspaper agencies.
If you spent any part of your life following ‘America’s favorite pastime’ game baseball, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m talking about indisputably one of the best players in the history of baseball, the all-rounder and center field player of Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout.
Mike Trout was born on August 7, 1991, in Vineland, New Jersey. When the parents Debbie, Jeff, and older siblings Teal and Tyler Trout held the baby, they knew he was God’s gift. But little did they imagine that a whole nation would begin calling Mike Trout ‘God’s gift’.
You could say he was born wearing baseball gear. His father Jeff played baseball professionally for Minnesota Twins in 1983 but had to retire due to injuries.
Mike Trout has a natural inclination towards baseball. The fact that his father was a professional player may have further been a huge influence in his investment in the sport and his early exposure to it. He was a die-hard fan of the MLB team “Philadelphia Phillies”. It is quite evident that his love for the team translated into his love for the sport as he entered the ballpark when he was quite young.
The initiation into the games happened when he played for ‘Cal Ripken baseball’. Even at the age of nine, his coach considered him the best amongst players 3 years older than him. When it came to baseball, 9-year-old Mike would willingly sit through the whole baseball game. This is saying something, considering that 9-year olds usually look for batting and pitching techniques to attract people’s attention instead of sitting through around three hours of swinging bats and home runs.
When he joined high school, he shifted into a higher gear by getting coached at Arsenal. Combined with natural instinct and stellar coaching, he quickly gathered attention for being the fastest and strongest player. Of course, he graduated from Millville Senior High School with a bang. He set the bar high for his successors by creating a high school record of hitting 18 home runs.
He was scouted in high school by the representative of Los Angeles Angels, Mr. Morhardt. Interestingly, despite his baseball genius, he was not the first pick of major baseball teams. Allegedly, he was not seen as one of the star players. I bet Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals are giving themselves grief for passing up a hidden gem like Mike Trout. Needless to say, Mike Trout proved himself when he debuted in Arizona League in 2009.
In 2010, Mike Trout dropped quite a number of jaws in the ballpark. The unstoppable Trout was the youngest to become the Topps Minor League Player of the Year. He was named the number one amongst the prospects according to ESPN.
The following year, the engine only got hotter. He hit his first home run against a ball pitched by the Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mark Worrell. He debuted in the major league and went on to amaze a lot of people- audience and hard-core fans alike by becoming the youngest player from Angel to hit two home runs in one game. He held onto his batting average of 220 while he played for a whopping 40 major league games.
In 2012, he replaced Bobby Abreu. This year was chock full of milestones for Mike Trout. Not only did he break many rookie milestones of the Angels, but he also won the BBWAA Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award without opposition from a single soul. Within a month he earned his first, second, and third career four-hit game. He bagged the American League Player of the Month and American League co-player of the season. He also bagged the Rookie of the Year trophy four times within a season. This just goes on to say that this well-mannered person definitely doesn’t take any prisoners when it comes to baseball.
In 2014, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League. He also signed a million-dollar extension contract with Angels. The Angels clearly realized their error because the contract was quickly revised to a contract of 145 million dollars for six years. In 2014, Mike Trout took home nearly $6 million, including his signing bonus. 2015 made him richer by $5 million. But that pales when compared to the succeeding years when he consistently earned an eight-figure payday. He earned a whopping $36 million in 2019. But if you thought this is the end of the story, you are mistaken because he signed a 12-year contract with Los Angeles Angels for a total of $426 million! This effectively kicked his net worth to nearly $60 million. Which is a lot to wrap your head around considering he is just 28 years old.
Unfortunately, Trout was forced to take a break from baseball when he sustained injuries on his thumb in 2017. He also injured his wrist in 2018. Despite these setbacks, our beloved Prince Fish returned to the ballpark stronger than ever. He was the seventh player to hit 200 home runs before reaching the age of 25.
Off the field, this famous baseball player has not let his celebrity status get to his head. He is said to be a very grounded person. When asked whether he discusses strategies with his father, Jeff Trout (who used to be a professional baseball player), he said he just exchanges commonplace texts like “I love you dad”. He is absolutely devoted to his wife. He met Jessica Cox when they were high school sweethearts and married after dating each other for 11 years.
What would Mike Trout have been if not a baseball player? Maybe he would have tried his hand at golf? Mike Trout has admitted that he enjoys swinging at golf balls too. But it is most likely that he would have ended up as a meteorologist. Before he became a baseball player, he was already pursuing a degree in meteorology since he likes to follow the weather. Well, what do you know? This is a wholesome random trivia about Mike Trout that you may not have expected out of a biography of Mike Trout.
This is a fairytale-like story of a man who knew what he wanted very early in life. Even before he completed a decade on this planet, he already had the patience and perseverance to develop skills that were far superior to those of other children his age.
He sets examples for everyone not only in the ballpark but also in life. Even though he received critical acclaim and recognition from every part of the globe and even though he signed contracts worth staggering amounts of money, he stayed humble. He always strived to be better. This can easily be seen in the sheer number of trophies he has accumulated throughout his career. Although unfortunate injuries forced him to take a break, he came back stronger and more determined.
Even though he is the highest-paid baseball player, he is clearly a man whose value is underestimated. Each time that we assume that he has shown us his best, he breaks his own record the next time he steps into the ballpark. He is like a star that keeps growing brighter as time flies by.