Mike Trout has been a member of the Los Angeles Angels since he made his big league debut on July 8, 2011, at the age of just 19 years old.
Trout is now in the midst of his sixth full season in the majors and Monday was his 26th birthday. While the Angels lost their game to the Baltimore Orioles by the score of 6-2, Trout, his teammates, and baseball fans everywhere still had plenty to celebrate.
Trout is easily the greatest player in the game of his generation and is, arguably, already what most consider to be an MLB legend, all at the tender age of 26. It is the same age that most players are being called up to the majors or are just beginning to hit their stride.
The 26-year-old from New Jersey has already accomplished what most players accomplish over a 20-year career. With the exception to his team only getting to the postseason once in his short career, Trout has done it all.
He was named American League Rookie of the Year in 2012. Over the past five seasons, Trout has placed in the top two in the AL MVP voting, winning the award twice. He’s of course a six-time All-Star, a five-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and he’s won the title of MVP at the All-Star Game twice.
On Monday Trout proved, yet again, that he is already a legend. He collected the 1,000th hit of his career, hitting a lead-off double off of the Orioles’ Dylan Bundy in the fourth inning, after which the crowd of 34,124 rewarded him with a well-deserved standing ovation. Trout is just the 10th player in AL history to reach the milestone prior to his age-26 season.
He is also just the fourth player in MLB history to have collected 1,000 hits, 500 runs, and 500 walks in his age-25 season or younger, joining Hall of Famers Mel Ott, Mickey Mantle, and Jimmie Foxx. The future Hall of Famer talked after the game about being in such elite company.
“You obviously want to hear your name with the greats and the Hall of Famers when you do something. It makes you feel good. It makes you feel special to be a part of such good company.”
He also scored both of the Angels’ only runs in the game. The first came on a sacrifice fly from Kole Calhoun in the fourth inning, after Trout hit his historic double, and the second run he scored came in the sixth inning when Trout hit his 23rd home run of the season. It was the fourth time in six seasons that Trout had homered on his birthday.
With Trout we may feel as though we’ve already seen it all, but there is hopefully much more to come in the future. Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia said of Trout, “Every time Mike does something, you just shake your head. For us to experience a player of his magnitude, doing so many things at such a young age, it’s exciting. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see it for a long time.”
He’s right, Mike Trout is exciting. He’s accomplished so much at just 26 years of age. It doesn’t really matter which team you root for, everyone seems to come to the same conclusion when it comes to Trout.
Mike Trout is the most outstanding player we will probably see in our lifetime; one day he may even be considered to be the very best player to ever play the game.
[Featured Image by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]