The eyes of the sporting world were glued to the national pastime on Tuesday night and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout was front and center.
Not to be overshadowed by Derek Jeter, who was playing in his 15th and final All-Star Game, Trout made a name for himself with a two for three performance at the plate and was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
"Chills, goosebumps, you name it," Trout told MLB.com on his All-Star experience.
"Everything was running through my body."
And Trout, himself, was running around the bases with a double, triple, two RBIs and a run scored.
On the up and up
The spotlight performance shouldn't come as a surprise as Trout has dominated the American League in his four years in the majors. Trout bursted onto the scene as a 19-year old out of New Jersey in 2011 and played in 40 games.
His true skill wasn't revealed until 2012 when he led the league with 129 runs and 49 stolen bases. Trout hit .326 in his second season and belted 30 home runs with 83 RBIs.
Teams then began to recognize his hitting prowess as Trout led the league in walks with 110 in 2013.
This year, he's on pace for a career year. One that may go down in MLB history.
Historic year ahead?
Trout is the sweetheart of the sabermetric statistic and has held down the highest WAR average in a three-year career. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, is higher than Hall of Famers Ty Cobb and Ted Williams.
Stark quotes teammate David Freese of the Angels, who holds Trout in the highest regard, even among Cobb and Williams — even among Lou Brock, Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente and the hundreds of other baseball immortals.
"Obviously, he's only three years (into his career)," Freese said.
"But I think it's fair to say he's well on his way to being one of the greatest ever."
Baseball's leader, commissioner Bud Selig, offers an equally ravishing compliment.
"Mickey Mantle-type ability," Selig told Stark.
Taking it in his stride
Trout certainly has a lot to live up to and he's got a long way to do it. Judging by the way he's played his career and lived his whole life, Trout will have no trouble fulfilling expectations.
"Growing up I was setting goals for myself that if I ever get the chance to play in the big leagues, that's how I want to play,'' Trout told Jorge Ortiz of USA Today.
"And the way he carries himself on and off the field, how he respects the game, always hustling, it doesn't matter what the score is. If they are down 10 runs, he is always running the ball out. That's how I want to play.''
As Jeter exits the world of baseball, Trout continues to blossom. That aspiration of role model-status complements the two very well.
The torch has been passed and Trout will make it shine brighter in the baseball future.
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