And, boy, did the crowd in Citizens Bank Park Tuesday night embrace him as a favorite son. Here is Trout's standing ovation prior to his first at-bat:
If that seems a bit tame, note that it was the only standing ovation for a player on the night. Not only that, but the Phillies pulled out all the stops in welcoming Trout "home."
In fact, they made the entire evening all about Millville, the South Jersey town of 28,000 that delivered Trout to the baseball world when he became the 25th overall pick by the Angels in the 2009 draft. The Millville High School baseball team was invited to batting practice, the school choir sang the national anthem, and the town's mayor threw out the first pitch. Depending on who did the estimate, there were 4,000 to 8,000 Millvillians among the crowd of 41,959.
Does this strike anyone else as a bit over the top? Maybe it would make sense if the game were actually played in Millville. Plus, Trout isn't a free agent until after the 2020 season, so it's not like this could be (or, should be, might be a better choice of words) some sort of recruiting plea.
Good for the people of Millville who enjoyed a great night courtesy of the Phillies, but otherwise this is a head-scratcher. [NOTE: To clarify, there seems to be some sort of confusion here. I'm not going after the fans for cheering. There is nothing wrong with that at all. I'm talking about the Phillies marketing department making the entire game about an opposing player being a head-scratcher.]
The Angels prevailed, 4-3, in the game and Trout went 1-for-5.