That's my boy: Trout robs HR in front of family
Parents in attendance to see center fielder's amazing grab
BALTIMORE -- When J.J. Hardy's ball went up in the air in the bottom of the first inning at Camden Yards on Wednesday night, Mike Trout's father, Jeff, grabbed his oldest son Tyler's left arm and told him it was gone.
No chance, he thought, Mike was getting to that one.
And then, somehow, he did. He got there, exploded off the rubberized warning track, stretched his glove about four feet over the wall in right-center field and came back down with a baseball on the very edge of it. Trout had robbed the Orioles' shortstop, had saved starter Jered Weaver and had taken away his first homer in the Majors during the Angels' 13-1 win.
Heck, he might've turned in the play of the year.
"You know what's more impressive than the catch?" Jeff asked. "The fact that he even got to it."
"That's probably the best play I've seen against me," Hardy added. "Maybe the best I've seen against anyone else, too. Pretty good."
When Mike finally landed, the crowd of 18,055 stood in stunned silence, Weaver doffed his cap and Mike was all adrenaline, beating his chest, yelling and smiling from ear-to-ear after seeing the replay on the big screen.
Turns out he may have been the only one who felt he even had a chance.
"I didn't really think it had a chance to go out," Trout said. "It carried a little bit more than I thought. I know [Hardy] barreled it up, but I was running back, got to the track and just told myself the only chance I had was to jump. I jumped as high as I could and I caught it."
Jeff should've known -- he did see Mike dunk a basketball in 10th grade.
Trout's dad, along with about 1,000 other friends and family members, made the two-hour drive from Millville, N.J., to Baltimore, the closest American League city to Trout's hometown, to see his son play during the two-game series against the Orioles.
Seated five rows behind the Angels' dugout on the third-base side -- with Tyler on one side and his wife, Debbie, on the other -- Jeff continued to marvel as his son went 4-for-6 to increase his AL-leading batting average to .344 and turned in an improbable play.
"It's a blessing," said Jeff, who was also in Anaheim recently to take in some games at Angel Stadium. "It was good to have him home. He had a couple of his buddies over. We went out, bought a bushel of crabs and his mom cooked some crab and spaghetti, one of his favorite summer dishes. I think he needs that once in a while."
"It's always special to have your friends and family here watching, and when you do something special like that, it's just a special feeling inside," Mike added. "They came here to see some stuff, and sometimes you try to do some little things extra and you get lucky. I just had a chance to rob a home run and robbed it."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.