Mike Trout continues with unique spin on jersey retirement
Mike Trout is one of the greatest baseball players to ever come out of the state of New Jersey, and you might assume his high school has retired his number now that he has been terrorizing MLB pitchers for the past seven years. However, that is not the way the star outfielder wants it.
Rather than retiring his No. 1 jersey, Millville High School’s coaching staff has been awarding the jersey to one deserving senior each year. The tradition continued on Thursday night with Trout paying a visit to his old school.
A cool tradition: Mike Trout wore #1 at Millville High School, and instead of retiring his number he’s had them pick one senior from each class that embodies those qualities that Trout has. The first was the late Aaron Cox, his brother-in-law. Trout honored the next one tonight. pic.twitter.com/ttLetSqUvZ
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) February 14, 2019
Trout got the idea from East Carolina University, which is where he committed to playing prior to being drafted by the Los Angeles Angels and turning pro. East Carolina awards its No. 15 jersey to one senior each season in honor of a late coach. Millville coach Roy Hallenbeck explained a few years back what it takes to earn the No. 1 jersey with the Thunderbolts.
“It’s more than just who’s the best player,” Hallenbeck said in 2015. “It’s who do (the coaches) feel represents the message we’ve been sending. Who buys into this program and who should be rewarded for that their senior year? So far, it’s worked out really well.”
Trout has found some creative ways to inspire high schoolers over the years, and choosing not to have his No. 1 jersey retired is certainly one of them. Being able to wear the number worn by a guy who set a New Jersey state record with 18 home runs is quite the honor.