It has been one incredible journey these past 20 years, and there’s just one last stop: the Midsummer Classic in Minneapolis. New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will have to pass the torch of being the face of MLB to somebody else who will continue to not only carry a legacy of his name, but the game of baseball with him.
That name is a fellow All-Star, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout.
This is a league where some big names have already proven themselves. These big names include two-time world champion San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, and an outfielder who brought fans back to the seats for the Pittsburgh Pirates in outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
No one can forget about Jeter’s former double play partner, Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano. And of course, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw makes a great case, as he is only getting better with every passing season.
All of them can carry the torch to be the face of MLB. They all do great things on the field and are often talked about on the evening newscasts for doing something great for their respective franchises. However, none of them are quite the five-tool player Trout is, nor do they do it in as big of a market as Trout does.
Los Angeles is one of the three biggest sports markets, joining New York and Chicago. Trout has that city embracing him, wondering what he will do next. He is as big of a star, if not bigger than Kobe Bryant, and that is saying something, as it is a basketball city that has seen much success come with the hoops.
He helps his team win with the glove, flashing the leather and making everybody gasp. He does it with the arm, making runners second-guess before advancing. He is one of the toughest outs in baseball when he steps in the batter’s box. If he does not hit a double, triple or home run, he can steal a base and put himself into scoring position for the middle of the order.
He does all of this while staying out of the spotlight. He leads by example and looks to stay out of trouble. He only looks to improve ways to help his team win. He sounds just like Jeter, which is exactly why he will be the player people will look up to when Jeter says goodbye to baseball, and the All-Star Game will be a big first step in the passing of the torch.