Extra Points: Mike Trout’s Game is Far From Over
It's hard to believe it's been nine years.
Mike Trout was a baby-faced 19-year-old just two years removed from Millville High School when he made his major-league debut for the Los Angeles Angels against the Seattle Mariners on July 8, 2011.
Now he's the face of Major League Baseball.
Trout, 28, enters this truncated season as the best player in the game. Even with the season shortened to 60 games, there's a good chance the three-time American League MVP will surpass 300 career homers - he currently has 285 - and has a shot at topping 800 RBIs (752 now) to go with his 200 career stolen bases.
If he hits 15 homers, he will join Alex Rodriguez as the only players in Major League history with 300 home runs and 200 stolen bases by their age 28 season.
But that's assuming he plays the majority of the 60 games, which is far from a certainty.
Trout has expressed misgivings about playing out of concerns for his family during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Trout and his wife, fellow Millville High grad Jessica (Cox), are expecting their first child in August.
Trout's concern was evident during a workout last Friday, when he was spotted wearing a mask while participating in baserunning drills at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. Two days later, his mother Debbie posted a picture on Twitter with the comment, "if Mike Trout can wear a mask while running the bases, you can wear a mask in public" along with the hashtag #WearAMask.
"Honestly, I still don't feel that comfortable," Trout told reporters after the workout. "It's gonna be tough. I've got to be really cautious these next couple weeks. I don't want to test positive. I don't want to bring it back to my wife. It's a tough situation we're in. Keeping (his wife and son) healthiest is my top priority."
Trout's concerns about Covid-19 will also be tested during football season.
Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Eagles offered their season-ticket holders the opportunity to opt out of the 2020 season and defer their seats until 2021 without penalty.
"We understand that, even with safety measures in place, you may have concerns about attending games in person," the Eagles said in an email to fans. "As such, we would like to offer you the option to defer your Season Tickets for the 2020 season. If you choose this option, we will pause your account for 2020 and resume your account in 2021 with the same seat locations you would have had in 2020."
Trout has approximately a half dozen season tickets, which are located behind the end zone next to the Eagles' tunnel at Lincoln Financial Field. Jessica, parents Jeff and Debbie Trout, and brother Tyler are frequently at the games with him.
Given the impending birth of his son, no one would be surprised if Trout takes the Eagles up on their offer.
Family has always topped his list of priorities.
Instead of dwelling on Wednesday's anniversary, Mike and Jessica announced a collaboration with TinyTurnip.com on a collection of clothes and artwork to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Jessica's brother, former Angels minor-league pitcher Aaron Cox, tragically committed suicide in August of 2018.
The design features a baseball and a baseball glove in the form of a semi colon with the slogan: "Your Game Isn't Over Yet."
"The main focus of our design was the semicolon, symbolizing a punctuation mark in literature where the author could have ended a sentence, but decided to continue the sentence instead," Jessica wrote on TinyTurnip.com. "Our design is meant to empower those who are struggling to know it’s okay not to be okay, to seek help and to know that their 'game isn’t over yet!'
There are those who feel that Trout, who signed a 12-year, $426.5-million contract last year, owes it to baseball to play out the season. There are fans who show up to Angels games exclusively to watch him in action.
He still hasn't made a decision. There's a possibility he could take a leave of absence to be there for the birth of his son. Or he could opt to sit out the rest of the season.
Whatever he decides will be predicated on his family's health.
As much as he loves to play baseball and watch football, it's clear that Mike Trout's primary focus is on the game of life.
And that game is far from over.