Though his new, record-setting $430 million extension with the Angels virtually ensures that Mike Trout will spend his entire career in Southern California, the New Jersey native is still a proud and deeply loyal Millville resident. He and his wife built a house in town and spend much of their offseason back in New Jersey. That includes a good amount of time he spends with the Millville High School baseball team.
Trout sends custom cleats to the team every year, meets with players and coaches before he heads off to spring training and reportedly keeps tabs on the team’s season, according to his high school coach, Roy Hallenbeck.
For most schools, Trout’s accomplishments and commitment to the program would be enough to justify an honor like retiring his number. That’s not the case at Millville, home of Mike Trout Field, which has a different honor for Trout’s number 1 (he switched to 27 after he signed his professional deal).
At Millville, the team’s captain wears the No. 1 jersey every year.
“It’s really special to us,” Hallenbeck told the Press of Atlantic City. “We’re just lucky that we were here when he came through.
“He’s been good enough to stop by before he goes to spring training every year to take a picture with those guys (and) meet them. He’s pretty generous with his time when it comes to stopping by and seeing us.”
Add that to his legendary work ethic — Hallenbeck called Trout the hardest worker he ever coached — and it’s not hard to see why he’s still such a beloved figure, even if he is now tied to the West Coast professionally.