The only time Millville, N.J., native Mike Trout played against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park was in 2014. One of his teammates was Raul Ibañez, who was in the final season of a terrific 19-year career.

Ibañez was with the Phillies from 2009-11 (the last time they made the postseason, by the way). He was asked about Trout, who was in only his third season but already had finished second in MVP voting in each of his first two years.

“I had the great fortune of playing with [Ken Griffey Jr.] ‘96 through ‘99,” Ibañez explained all those years ago. “Mike Trout is the closest thing I’ve seen to that level of player; of being so good so fast so early. He’s a once-in-a-generation-type player, I think.”

» READ MORE: Mike Trout returns to Philly an MVP contender yet again and a big fan of the Eagles draft

Ibañez couldn’t have been more right.

In the eight years since Trout last played in Philadelphia, he has won three MVPs and finished in the top five four other times. The exception was last year when Trout tore his calf muscle in mid-May and missed the rest of the season. The pandemic wiped out the Angels’ scheduled visit to Citizens Bank Park in 2020.

“One of the reasons why I think he’s going to be able to adapt and adjust to the test of time is he’s not playing this game focused on numbers,” Trout’s manager, Mike Scioscia, said in 2014. “He’s playing this game focusing on helping his team win at that moment that he’s doing something in the game, whether it’s on the defensive end, whether it’s base running or whether it’s in the batter’s box.”

There’s no better example of that than how he got his first career hit, which is below.

Most career home runs by players born in our area

Player
Hometown
Home runs
Reggie Jackson
Cheltenham
563
Mike Piazza
Phoenixville
427
Mike Trout
Millville, N.J.
323
Paul Goldschmidt
Wilmington, Del.
291
Del Ennis
Philadelphia
288
Goose Goslin
Salem, N.J.
260
Roy Campanella
Philadelphia
259

Did you know?

  • The Phillies beat the Angels in their first interleague game in 2003 as Vicente Padilla pitched seven shutout innings. The Angels have won all 12 meetings since.

  • Trout was 2-for-9 with a triple in the Angels’ two-game visit to Philadelphia in 2014. In their most recent series, a three-game sweep by Los Angeles in 2017, Trout went 5-for-10 with a pair of early homers in the second and third games to set the tone for a pair of Angels wins.

  • Despite all of Trout’s individual success, the Angels have made just one postseason appearance in his career. They were swept by Kansas City in the 2014 ALDS when Trout went 1-for-12. “It’s definitely weighed on me,” he said before last season. “I hear it every year. The only way to change that is to get to the playoffs.”

  • ”It would almost be like a mortal sin in the Catholic faith” for Trout not to get back to the playoffs, said Joe Maddon, his current manager. “A lot of great players never played in a World Series, so it goes beyond Michael. But I don’t want it to happen to him.”

  • Griffey Jr. and Ernie Banks are among the greatest players who never appeared in a World Series.

  • Trout is one of 11 players in history with at least three MVP awards, and one of 15 players with 300-plus home runs before turning 30.

Trout’s trophy case
Three-time AL MVP (2014, 2016, 2019)
Placed second in MVP voting four times (2012, 2013, 2015, 2018). Also finished fourth in 2017, and fifth in 2020. Was injured most of last season.
8-time winner Silver Slugger
9-time All-Star (MVP in 2014, 2015)
2012 AL Rookie of the Year
  • Trout is making a run at another MVP-type season with top-five numbers in home runs (13), slugging (.636) and OPS (1.038). The Angels came into the week holding the final wild-card spot in the American League despite not getting much from Anthony Rendon, who is fighting a wrist injury.

  • AL MVP odds leaders via Caesars as of Wednesday afternoon: Shohei Ohtani (+180), Aaron Judge (+300), Mike Trout (+400), Jose Ramirez (+1200).

  • Trout, a huge Philadelphia sports fan, married his Millville High School sweetheart, Jessica Cox, in 2017. He was married the day before Nick Foles made his first start in place of injured Carson Wentz for the Eagles that season, in fact.

  • The Trouts are heavily involved in suicide prevention, a cause that became very personal when Jessica’s brother Aaron died from a self-inflicted gunshot in 2018, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Losing Aaron [who also was a teammate of Trout’s at Millville High] was probably the toughest thing to happen to me in my life,” Trout said in 2020. Jessica Trout: You are loved, you’re never alone and your game isn’t over yet!

  • Mike and Jessica named their first child “Beckham Aaron,” who was born on July 30, 2020. They liked Beckham, and Aaron is a tribute to Jessica’s brother. That’s right, their son’s initials are B.A.T. “Just a coincidence,” Trout says.

  • He’s the only player in American League history to unanimously win a rookie of the year (2012) and an MVP (2014).

Highest 2022 salaries

Player
Pos.
Team
Salary
Comment
1. Max Scherzer
SP
Mets
$43.3 million
Terrific start halted by oblique injury.
2. Mike Trout
OF
Angels
$37.1 million
Entered the week .310/.411/.652.
3. Anthony Rendon
3B
Angels
$36.6 million
Was .242/5 HR before latest injury.
t4. Jacob deGrom
SP
Mets
$36 million
Hasn’t pitched all season (shoulder).
t4. Gerritt Cole
SO
Yankees
$36 million
4-1, 3.12 ERA in 10 starts
19. Bryce Harper
OF/DH
Phillies
$27.5 million
Bright spot in another dismal season.

*Statistics through Tuesday

  • Trout’s first career hit was a bunt single off Seattle’s Michael Pineda. Two men were on and Trout’s speed forced an errant throw and the Angels went on to score four runs in the inning on the way to a 9-3 victory. It was just his second game, and Trout was batting ninth that night.

  • Trout will be 31 on Aug. 7, and had that leg injury last season. He hadn’t attempted a stolen base all year as of Wednesday, and has just three attempts in the last three years.

  • He’s on Twitter and Instagram @MikeTrout.

  • The Angels had two first-round picks in 2009, and it’s a good thing for them they did. At No. 24, they took Randal Grichuk. At No. 25, they took Mike Trout.

  • Trout has never won a Gold Glove, but he is a solid center fielder. He did not commit an error in 2015 and 2018 and has just one error in the last three seasons (129 games in center field).

  • When Trout played here in 2014, his salary was $1,000,000. In 2019, he signed a 12-year, $426.5 million extension worth more than $37 million per season through 2030 (when he’ll be 39).