Stark: Mike Trout’s All-Star coronation

From SABR member Jayson Stark at on July 15, 2014:

MINNEAPOLIS — On Tuesday night, under the sparkling Minnesota sky, they will play baseball on the same diamond, very likely for the last time. It will be Derek Jeter’s final All-Star Game. It will be Mike Trout’s third.

They will wear the same uniform, dress in the same clubhouse, find themselves on the same lineup card. But don’t let those similarities confuse you. This is the night, this is the time, this is the place where their paths diverge.

It’s a night to reflect on the starlit road Jeter has traveled. But as Jeter waves goodbye, he has a torch to pass. You could make a case for that torch landing in the grasp of many players who will join him on that field Tuesday night: Andrew McCutchen … Giancarlo Stanton … Yasiel Puig … Clayton Kershaw.

But who is better positioned to grab that torch and not let go than Mike Trout?

The more we see of him, the more we get to know him, the more it feels as if he rolled into baseball out of the pages of a W.P. Kinsella novel. Larger than life. Too gifted and humble to be real.

So why can’t this be Trout’s night, too? A night to put his stamp on a special All-Star Game. A night with the potential to make us reflect on where he’s going — for about the next two decades — and on where he might be taking this whole sport along with him.

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Originally published: July 15, 2014. Last Updated: July 15, 2014.