EXIT 27: To Millville & Route 55 in south New Jersey, near Haddon, New Jersey
If you love sports, you will love this upcoming Exit 27. No doubt the greatest baseball player that a lot of people have never heard of takes this exit to get home.
Look around. He may even be in that SUV over there. He may be driving back to see his boyhood friends and family. And he is not likely in a fancy sports car. No Maserati or Ferrari for him. Likely you won’t even see the young family man even in his 2014 Corvette Stingray which was gifted to him for being that year’s MVP. Why?
That’s because in an era of boastful arrogance, he is not loud. He is not controversial. He is not even super famous. But Mike Trout is possibly the best baseball player in the game — today or yesteryear. And last year, in 2019, Mike Trout from South Jersey, won the biggest payday of any professional American Athlete. Ever!
A lifelong Phillies fan, Mike Trout grew up in nearby Millville, New Jersey and began playing baseball in Cal Ripken Baseball.
His position was shortstop and he even wore #2 in honor of his childhood hero, the equally soft spoken class act, New York Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter. After high school, Mike later attended the nearby University of Delaware. Little did the little leaguer realize he would one day share the diamond with his idol, Derek Jeter, both in regular games and even better, as members of the All Star Team.
A class act like Derek Jeter, Mike is soft spoken. He allows his stats state his achievements. But he did not begin his MLB career with an auspicious start. After playing just a few weeks with the Anaheim Angels, Trout was sent back to Double-A in 2011 after hitting .163 with one home run and six runs batted in 12 starts.
Maybe it was this hard start that motivated his soft spoken demeanor. After all, only a fool thinks he knows how long his good fortune will hold. But fortune would come his way.
Just 2 years before he won the MVP Stingray, Trout began the 2012 season in Utah playing Triple-A ball with the Salt Lake City Bees. On April 28, he was again brought up from the minors. At that time, Trout had a .403 batting average with Salt Lake. Having evolved into a talented hitter, Trout recorded his first career four-hit game on June 4 — and his second 15 days later. An aggressive base runner, he scored all four times and two of his four hits were doubles. That year, Trout became the youngest player ever to hit at least 20 home runs and steal at least 40 bases in a season.
Fast forward to today. The so-called Millville Meteor has led the American League in runs and times on base four times. As of 2018, he led all active major league ballplayers in career slugging percentage (.573), and stolen base percentage (84.75%).
In a game where you win with singles and doubles, Mike Trout is worth his weight in gold — or maybe more. The total contract from 2019 is worth just under $427 million, the largest deal in North American sports history.
So why would Mike Trout still be driving down upcoming Exit 27? A big shot like him likely has a home in Beverly Hills or on Fifth Avenue, right? Well yes. He probably does. But it is not just Mike’s family who hails from Millville.
Seems Mike’s wife happens to be his high school sweetheart. According to local Millville Mythology, young Mike Trout sat in his Millville Senior High School Spanish class when he noticed Jessica Cox for the first time. Seeing an empty desk next to her, Trout started acting out so the teacher would “punish” him and move his seat to the front of the class. That was where Jessica was. It worked.
Just like in his baseball career Mike moved from the Little Leagues into Jessica Cox’s heart. The high school sweethearts married in 2017 and in August of 2020 — defying the pandemic — they Trouts welcomed their first child. Or should we call young Beckham Aaron Trout a fry or a smelt, because that is what baby trout are called.
One thing is for sure: High-school sweethearts Mike and Jessica Trout will be bringing their small fry back to their home town to meet the families. No doubt they may very well be taking the upcoming Exit to get there. So think about yourself being on the path of greatness. And also something to think about… with their income, the Trout family can drive any car they want!
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