Mike Trout's biggest assist? Helping 'Sho-Time' get started

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Shohei Ohtani traveled more than 5,000 miles from his home in Japan in his quest to make history as a two-way player in the major leagues, so it was only natural for him to feel a knot in his stomach and the burden of expectations several hours before his pitching debut with the Los Angeles Angels.

The tension lingered until Ohtani boarded the bus from the team hotel for the drive to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 1. As he reached the final step, a voice from the back pierced the silence with a Michael Buffer-like "It's Sho-Time!" Ohtani burst into a smile, and the entire bus erupted in jersey wholesale

To no one's surprise, the voice from the cheap seats belonged to Mike Trout, future Hall of Famer and the Angels' resident social director.

Since Trout's first full season in the majors in 2012, he has built an airtight case for the designation of Major League Baseball's best player. He has made six straight All-Star Games and finished first or second in Most Valuable Player balloting five times, and he's laying the foundation for a third MVP award even as Mookie Betts and others provide some spirited competition.

Trout's teammates, while appreciative of his greatness, are less than awed by his presence because he's so approachable and gosh-darned authentic. Back home in Millville, New Jersey, the folks at Jim's Lunch, the Razor's Edge barber shop and the Elks Lodge still regard the game's best player as "Mikey." In Anaheim, Trout has the same galvanizing effect on the clubhouse, with his diva-free approach to baseball and life.28

"I didn't see Mike play in Little League, but everybody says he's the same guy," said Craig Landis, Trout's agent. "When he was 10 years old, he was the best player, and all he wanted was to win the game and then go get pizza and ice cream with his buddies. That was the perfect day in Mike Trout's life. Fast-forward through all the levels to the major leagues, and though the stakes are much higher, he still acts much the same way. Mike's perfect day is still to win the game and enjoy it with his buddies."nfl jerseys cheap authentic

This year, Trout was challenged to take another step in his progression as a leader when general manager Billy Eppler surrounded him with enough talent for the Angels to make a push for their first postseason berth since 2014. While Angels fans have reason to feel let down by the team's 33-28 record, no one would dare lay it on the performance of the two most prominent players.

Trout leads the majors with a 5.3 WAR and 19 homers and ranks among the MLB leaders in runs, stolen bases and numerous other categories. Ohtani is 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA and 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings as a pitcher, and he has a .907 OPS as a hitter. In a season noteworthy for teammate Albert Pujols' 3,000th career hit and the upcoming Hall of Fame induction of former Angel Vladimir Guerrero, Trout and Ohtani are the two most compelling reasons to watch the Angels.

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