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2014 Topps Series 1 “Topps All Rookie Cup Team” – Mike Trout

2014 Topps Series 1 “Topps All Rookie Cup Team” – Mike Trout

Topps’ All-Rookie Team means a lot of different things to a lot of different collectors.  But, one thing is for certain – If your card is tagged with the All-Rookie Team logo, you did something during your first season in the big leagues to make yourself stand out from the rest.

And for that reason alone, I can totally support a set of cards that picks ‘The Best Of The Best’ from these teams.

In 2014, Topps issued a subset in their Series 1 release that took one player at each position, naming them to the ‘Topps All Rookie Cup Team’.

Representing one of the three outfielder positions is Mike Trout:

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While it was just two seasons ago that Mike Trout debuted in the big leagues, he has clearly made a name for himself.  And quickly too!

His numbers from his 2012 rookie campaign include: .326 batting average, .399 on-base percentage, 315 total bases including 27 doubles, 8 triples, and 30 home runs.  Trout stole 49 bases and was caught just 5 times.  He scored a league leading 129 runs for the Angels.

Trout was named as an All-star in 2012 while also winning a Silver Slugger Award, a Rookie Of The Year Award, and finishing in second place for the AL MVP.

 

Los Angeles Angels & Mike Trout Agree On 6-Year, $144 Million Dollar Extension

Los Angeles Angels & Mike Trout Agree On 6-Year, $144 Million Dollar Extension

From Yahoo Sports

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels agreed Friday night to a $144.5 million, six-year contract, keeping baseball’s brightest young star under club control through 2020.

The Angels said the 22-year-old outfielder and his family will be at a news conference Saturday in Anaheim to formally announce the contract along with owner Arte Moreno, manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto.

Few players in major league history have approached Trout’s accomplishments in his first two full major league seasons. The speedy center fielder is both a spectacular five-tool player and the darling of baseball’s sabermetrics crowd, putting up old-fashioned highlights and statistical superlatives on a weekly basis.

”I think everybody is obviously thrilled that it got done,” Scioscia said at Dodger Stadium after the Angels’ exhibition game, which Trout missed with a stomach virus. ”He’s a special player and a special person.”

The Millville, N.J., product was a unanimous choice for AL Rookie of the Year in 2012, and he finished second in AL MVP voting to Miguel Cabrera the past two years.

Trout’s deal came on the same day Cabrera finalized a $292 million, 10-year deal with the Detroit Tigers, the richest contract in American sports.

The free-spending Angels were determined to reward Trout while locking up their prized possession beyond his first few years of eligibility for arbitration and free agency. Los Angeles has been quietly negotiating with Trout’s representatives throughout spring training, and the club closed the deal three days before opening day at Angel Stadium.

Trout agreed on Feb. 26 to a $1 million, one-year contract for 2014, much more than the Angels were required to offer him. His new deal runs from 2015-20.

The outfielder would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season, and for free agency following the 2017 World Series. Now, he can’t become a free agent until at least age 29.

It’s the latest big-money deal for the Angels, who are entering the third season of a $240 million, 10-year contract with first baseman Albert Pujols, the second season of a $125 million, five-year agreement with outfielder Josh Hamilton and the third season of an $85 million, five-year contract with pitcher Jered Weaver.

But while the Angels’ deals for Pujols and Hamilton have been criticized for their lavish nature and the thirty-something sluggers’ ensuing lack of production, Los Angeles is locking up Trout early in an uncommonly promising career.

Trout’s contract isn’t worth as much as Cabrera’s lavish deal in Detroit, but it still would allow Trout to hit free agency at an age when he could still be in the prime of his career.

And when his new deal ends, Trout will still be younger than the 30-year-old Cabrera is now.

Trout’s average salary of $24,083,333 under the new deal is ninth in the majors, trailing only those of Clayton Kershaw, Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Justin Verlander, Ryan Howard, Hamilton, Felix Hernandez and Zack Greinke.

Trout is batting .314 with 62 homers and 196 RBIs in just 336 career games, including 40 games in 2011. The speedy center fielder also has stolen 86 bases while playing stellar defense and making two All-Star teams, starting for the AL last summer.

He is one of four players in baseball history to bat .320 with 50 homers and 200 runs in his first two full seasons, joining Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Pujols.

Trout has accomplished just about everything except team success during his short major league career. The Angels have missed the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, and they finished 78-84 last year, their worst record in a decade.

The deal provides huge security for Trout. He received a bonus of $1,215,000 when he signed after the Angels selected him with the 25th overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft. He made $482,500 two years ago and earned a $10,000 bonus for winning the rookie award, then was unilaterally renewed by the Angels last year at $510,000 – $20,000 above the big league minimum at the time.

That deal sparked criticism from many Angels fans who thought Trout deserved more compensation for his outstanding play. They also worried the relatively meager deal – and the Angels’ decision to move Trout from his preferred center field to left last season – might sour the budding superstar on the team.

Trout is back in center field this season, and Moreno made sure Trout couldn’t doubt the Angels’ financial commitment to him.

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Mike Trout

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Mike Trout

With the new 2013 Topps Archives baseball card set release, the ‘Mini Tallboys’ subset is easily one of the best parts of the issue.

The cards from this subset offer a very basic, but throwback feel that screams vintage. The set is 40 cards deep and offers a nice mixture of current players, stars from the 1980′s, and Hall of Fame legends.

This is the card of Mike Trout from the set:

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Mike Trout is ‘Mr. Baseball’ right now.  He is the young face of the game, and he has yet to do anything to deter anyone from latching on and enjoying the show that he puts on.

There is nothing that Trout cannot do on the baseball field.  He is electric in the outfield.  He is explosive on the base paths.  And at the age of 21 he is getting the experience to become an elite hitter of the baseball.

If the Angels are going to become a playoff team again, it will be on the shoulders of Mike Trout.

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Glove Stories’ Subset – Mike Trout

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Glove Stories’ Subset – Mike Trout

Topps’ Gypsy Queen brand offers up some pretty sweet 10-card subsets that feature intense action.

One of my favorite parts about the GQ subsets is that they don’t simply throw in the top players – they truly find incredible images regardless of the player’s star power.  What this does is introduce us to other talents that perform at high levels while also allowing for players that are not always in the spotlight a chance to shine for a bit.

The ‘Glove Stories’ set primarily features outfielders with 8 cards, and has 2 infielder cards as well.

This is the Mike Trout card from the set:

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This play could easily be the most shown and watched highlight from the 2012 major league baseball regular season.  Between the ground covered and the height at which Mike Trout leaped to secure haul in the ball, the baseball world stared in awe.

And ever since this single moment, Mike Trout has taken more and more steps to becoming the face of major league baseball and a household name.

Mike Trout Is Unanimous Selection As American League’s Rookie Of The Year

Mike Trout Is Unanimous Selection As American League’s Rookie Of The Year

From Yahoo.com

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels became the youngest AL Rookie of the Year, a unanimous winner Monday after a season that put him in contention for the MVP award, too.

The 21-year-old center fielder hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs following his call-up from the minor leagues in late April.

Trout received all 28 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, becoming the eighth unanimous AL pick and the first since Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria in 2008.

Detroit second baseman Lou Whitaker had been the youngest AL winner in 1978, but he was 2 months, 26 days older than Trout when he took home the award.

Trout received the maximum 140 points. Oakland outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was second with 63, followed by Texas pitcher Yu Darvish (46), who joined Trout as the only players listed on every ballot.

In addition to Trout and Longoria, the only other unanimous AL winners were Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter, Tim Salmon, Sandy Alomar Jr., Mark McGwire and Carlton Fisk.

Trout spent some time in the majors last year but still retained his rookie status. He began this season in the minors and made his first big league appearance this year on April 28. His season put him in contention for the AL MVP award along with Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera of Detroit. That voting is announced Thursday.

For winning the award, Trout earned a $10,000 bonus on top of his $482,500 salary.