As Angels center fielder Mike Trout prepares to begin the sixth full season of his major league career, Sports Illustrated’s Ben Reiter talked to a bunch of the two-time American League MVP’s coaches, teammates and opponents to get a better appreciation of one of baseball’s biggest stars.
There are a lot of interesting nuggets within Reiter’s “oral history of Mike Trout’s greatest moments to date,” including a teammate who claims parking a car is “the only thing that Trout’s not the best at,” but the funniest story comes from former Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher, who is entering his second season as pitching coach of the Diamondbacks.
“Mike loves video games, and he used to play my son in an online game called ‘Clash of Clans,’ ” Butcher said. “Mike was winning, and my son asked him why he had so many weapons and tools. Mike said, ‘You’ve got to spend some money if you want to play with the big boys. Use your dad’s account.’ The next day I get a receipt that shows $1,500 in charges. Fifteen hundred dollars! I thought somebody hacked my account. I go to my son, ‘What is this all about?’ And he says, ‘Mike Trout said I needed these.’ I see Mike later that day, and he’s just laughing. He’s really this great big kid who’s always having fun. He hasn’t changed a bit.”
“Clash of Clans,” for the uninitiated, is a free mobile strategy game. It’s free to download, anyhow. For as little as 99 cents, gamers have the option of purchasing virtual “gems” to improve their standing in the game. These in-app purchases are the reason “Clash of Clans” developer Supercell made more than $2.3 billion in revenue in 2016.
Trout, who agreed to a six-year, $144.5 million contract in 2014, could afford to splurge on a few gems.