Let's take a trip down memory lane. July 2nd, 2009, pen hit paper with a John Hancock, courtesy of Mike Trout. Just over two years later, on July 8th, 2011, Trout took the field for the first time in uniform at Angel Stadium.
We all know the rest, and now, with an already outstanding resume, Mike Trout can add, "Most Valuable Player" right at the top.
Trout was voted unanimously by the voting members of the Baseball Writer's Association of America, receiving all 30 first place votes. Trout is the first unanimous winner since Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1997. Trout, 23, became the fifth youngest player to win an MVP Award at 23 years, 98 days. He's the third youngest in American League history to boast the award, and youngest since 1983 Cal Ripken, Jr. won the award.
"It feels great," said a teary eyed Trout to MLB Network upon receiving award. "Everyone is out back and cheering. I have the family here and it's something special for sure."
Well, Mr. Trout is special, for sure, becoming one of the elite players in baseball history, gaining recognition after two years of being runner up in the award.
"I personally have to thank my teammates. They get on base and give me opportunities to drive in runs... the fans obviously, the sports writers for voting me. I can't thank them enough, I'm very excited."
Trout's teammates and managers chimed in as well on the honor of being a part of his MVP run, as Angels manager, Mike Scioscia, stated, "Mike has had an incredible start to his career. His play this year totally embodies what an MVP is all about."
Trout had what was known as his "worst" season in 2014, but he found a way to not only impress the writers, but do it in remarkable fashion. His .287/.377/.561 slash was enough to keep him in the elite players statistically in the American League. This came with a league leading, 115 runs, and 111 runs batted in.
Among with the illustrious MVP award, he had already taken home quite a large amount of hardware over the 2014 season. These consisted of; Player's Choice American League Most Valuable Player (player voted), American League Silver Slugger, and All-Star Game MVP, just to name a few. Trout told MLB Network about how important his 2014 was to him.
"It meant everything. It was unbelievable. If you would've told me this before the season started, I would've just laughed at you. It's an unbelievable feeling."
Among all the accolades comes a large amount of statistics that are near unmatched. Trout is the only player to hit 30 or more home runs and steal 40 or more bases in his first full season, and is also the only player to do all those things and score 120 or more runs while batting .320 or higher in a season before his 23rd birthday.
Trout is also the only player with 80 or more runs and stolen bases before turning 23. Trout also became the youngest player in 105 years to steal 40 or more bases in a season (Ty Cobb, 1907).
"This honor is well deserved and further affirms his position as the premier player in the game," said Angels General Manager, Jerry Dipoto.
The numbers go on-and-on-and-on, and for good reason. The treasure that is Mike Trout has graced Southern California for four years now, and is just making his mark. The biggest mark coming today, with his first Most Valuable Player Award.
Trout is the third Angels player to done an Angels uniform while winning the MVP, joining Don Baylor in 1979, and Vladimir Guerrero in 2004. Both gave Trout large praise upon attaining the award.
"[It's] so exciting to see another AL MVP wearing Angels [an] uniform," said Guerrero. "I also wanna thank Mike for wearing my favorite number."
"It may be his first MVP, but it won't be his last," said Baylor.
Trout is also the youngest player in MLB history to win the Most Valuable Player Award by unanimous vote. Trout beat out Tigers designated hitter, Victor Martinez, and Indians outfielder, Michael Brantley.
Martinez received 16 second place votes, and four for third place (3-4, 3-5, 2-6, 1-7) and Brantley received eight second place votes and six third place votes (5-4, 3-5, 1-6, 1-7).
Angels, Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick also received praise from the voters. Pujols gaining two votes in the top ten, one for seventh and one for 10th, finishing 17th in voting and Kendrick received one eighth place vote finishing 18th in the final count.
"Truly a well-deserved honor," said Pujols. "Mike respects the game and plays it the right way."
All teammates found ways to congratulate Trout via social media, whether it was Twitter, Facebook, or other ways.
"He's been tremendously blessed and continues to get most out of his amazing talent," said teammate, Josh Hamilton. "Sky is the limit."
*All quotes compliments of Angels PR Staff*
Through teary eyes and strong emotions, Mike Trout accepted his award in his living room in Milleville, New Jersey, with his family and friends cheering outside in the backyard.
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