Dear Mike Trout: Thank You

Updated: November 18, 2016

Angels fans have heard it all. Without Mike Trout, we are a AAA team. Without Trout, we only win 60 games. Without Trout, we have no hope for the future. Well, Mike Trout is all we have and he is all we need. This isn’t a love letter to Mike Trout.

This is a thank you and an honest reflection on the impact the now two-time MVP has had on an organization that has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

Two seasons ago, the Angels won 98 games and Mike Trout won MVP. Fast forward 24 months and they only won 74 games and Mike Trout won MVP. We’ve seen our ace turn from strikeout machine to pitching machine.

We’ve seen about $100 million go from hope for years to come to 0.7 combined WAR. Yet the same amount of fans, three million, came out to the Big A this season as they did in that magical 2014 season. And the only reason so many came out to Angel Stadium was to see a once in a generation talent in Mike Trout. What he does on the field is just awe inspiring. He hits home runs and robs home runs. He steals bases and seals wins. I don’t think there’s been such an electric player with such a humble attitude since Mickey Mantle.

Trout has been the MVP of the Angels every season he’s been in the big leagues, yet the BBWAA only thought he was the real MVP once in four amazing seasons. But the Baseball Writer’s Association of America got it right this season.

They realized that putting Trout behind Betts would take the MVP award and twist it into just the Best Player on the Best Team award. Hats off to Mookie, he had an amazing season, but had he won, the MVP would have worth just as much as a starting position in the All-Star Game. The BBWAA realized that robbing Trout of another MVP award would be a crime.

While most thought it would be a close race, he actually won by a landslide. Switch Betts’ team with Trout’s team and Trout might have won the award unanimously.  He had a season for the ages and was recognized for it. He still has the rest of his amazing career ahead of him, but this is the start for one of the greatest to ever play the game.

Trout is a franchise changing player. I know there is talk about the Yankees stocking up on prospects to offer for Trout, but the truth is you can’t trade a guy like Mike. His value is not only on the field, but also in the value he brings to the fan base and his community.

He puts fans in the seats, period. Without Trout, the Angels would have as much attendance as the Marlins. I’ve never seen a Spring Training or regular season game where Trout doesn’t sign autographs. Just look at this clip from a game in Arlington last season. This is the epitome of what Mike means to Angels fans. He gives back so much to the community as well. He’s put in countless hours at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and other charities. For him, team and community come before personal achievement. If that’s not the definition of valuable, then I don’t know what is.

The truth is, though, his time may be limited in Anaheim. While he is signed through 2020, there is no guarantee that he will return in 2021. Mike will probably get the largest contract in the history of baseball if he leaves. So enjoy him while you can Angels fans.

Don’t lose hope because the Angels aren’t the worst team in baseball. Most of their core is returning next season and Trout alone can help catapult a decent team to 90+ wins and even a World Series win. He truly is a once in a lifetime player. Tell everyone you know to make a trip to the Big A because before you know it, he might be gone.

Like I said, this is a thank you note to the man who has single handedly carried the Angels franchise for the past five years. He’s not only the most valuable player in baseball the season, but also the most valuable player in a franchise that desperately needed a humble hometown hero, both on and off the field. The Yankees can have their Ruth, Mantle, and Jeter. The Red Sox can have their Ortiz, Yastrzemski, and  Williams. We’ll take Mike Trout, who will hopefully be a Halo forever.

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