July 8, 2011

The future is now

I don’t know how appropriate it is for men of a certain age to be overly excited about the major league debut of a 19 year old; however, in the case of myself and the debut of Mike Trout I’m practically drunk with anticipation and excitement.

Now, I have tried to best of my abilities to temper my expectations on Mike Trout over the past two years. It hasn’t been easy. I have resisted the urge to jump on the wagon of those calling for his arrival sooner rather than later. I have not let the idea that many consider him to be the best prospect in the game today cloud my judgment and I have remained patient.

But when I got the news today that Trout was called up last night and would likely be starting in center field (for an injured Peter Bourjos) I could not contain my emotions. I called my wife Cheryl right away; I emailed fellow Angel fans, 514 Fanatics, and even my ticket representative Arthur. I ran to the office of co-workers and if I thought anyone would have listened, I would have gone to the roof of my office building and screamed “Mike Trout is coming! Mike Trout is coming!”

Yes, I’m excited. In fact, I’m beyond excited.

I didn’t honestly believe it would happen so soon and I didn’t actually know I would be this enthusiastic; but I am.

If the Angels have any kind of tradition or legacy surrounding its players – it would have to be with who has played center field for them over the years. There is a long list of tremendous defensive players who have roamed that spot in the outfielder over the years. Names like Mickey Rivers, Gary Pettis, Chad Curtis, Devon White, Darin Erstad, Torii Hunter and most recently Peter Bourjos among others.

There has also been one - Jim Edmonds, who just happens to be the man throwing out the ceremonial first pitch tonight as part of the Angels’ 50th Anniversary celebration. How fitting and appropriate is that?

Like Edmonds, Trout is much more than a tremendous defender; he’s the whole package and if his career ends up being anywhere near that of Edmonds – tonight will be the beginning of an incredible journey.

Where will Mike Trout rank among Angels’ centerfielders? The more appropriate question might be to ask where Trout will rank among the all-time Angels when all is said and done and while that’s a huge question – this moment feels that large.

My wish is that tonight be a special night for all the right reasons and that when all is said and done, the young Mr. Trout has fun. He’s 19 years old and I can’t imagine what is going through his mind right now. I’d be willing to be that he’s been preparing for this moment his whole life, as young as that life might be. He’s about to achieve the first of his many goals in life and he’s going to do it before he even reaches his 20th birthday.

I love baseball and being a part of night’s like tonight are special. I feel very blessed and fortunate that I can there to see it happen and to watch the story unfold. I can’t wait to watch Trout run on to the field and make his debut as a big leaguer.

As a fan, it’s all about being there in person.

If you have the choice of being there or watching it on T.V. – my suggestion is that you make your way to the stadium.

I don’t know what’s going to happen tonight or how his debut will go; however, I do know that if you want a chance at being a part of something special – you need to find your way to Angels Stadium tonight. The potential for a special memory has presented itself to us all. We might witness the start of something great and opportunities like this don’t happen every day; they are simply priceless.

I can’t wait.

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