By MAKINZI HINKLE Staff writer
Many people don’t know who Mike Trout was in high school. During his high school baseball career, he definitely made his mark. Leroy Hallenbeck, Trout’s high school coach, said that Trout holds the record for runs, hits, batting average, doubles, triples, home runs, total bases, slugging %, stolen bases, walks, RBI’s, and strike outs (as a pitcher). As a graduate from Millville Senior High School, Trout was drafted in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft. In a recent interview with Hallenbeck, he was asked how he was as a person and a player. Q: How was Mike on and off the field? A: On the field Mike was the biggest, strongest, fastest, and best player at any game or tournament he was attending. Off the field he acted just like any other player I have had over my 18-year career. I used to tell scouts “If you didn’t already know who he was you wouldn’t be able to pick him out based on how he acts, he’s just one of the guys.” Q: As each season passed, did he grow as a player and a person? A: Most players will experience one major jump in talent and maturity during their 4-year HS career. Mike seemed to make that jump every year. He just kept getting better. Q: How was he as a player? A: Currently hold these school career records. Runs – 151, Hits – 142, Batting Ave – .464, Doubles – 25, Triples – 6, Home Runs – 31, Total Bases – 272, Slugging % – .890, Stolen Bases – 70, Walks – 87, RBI’s – 121, Strike outs (as a pitcher) – 255 Q: What position(s) did he play? Has he always been an outfielder? A: When he was younger he was a pitcher and a short stop. I moved him to center field for his senior season. He fit there much better with the draft coming up. Trout is known for helping people but the most recent deed he’s done was help his number one fan make his dreams come true. It was early August and Thomas Walkup was headed to a regular eye doctor appointment. But Walkup is like no other 8 year old. He was born with Congenital Nystagmus, as known as shaky eyes. Susan Banks, his mother, realized that the surgery Walkup needed was in California and there was no way the family was able to afford a near month long trip. Luckily, the insurance was able to cover the surgery, but they needed to pay for the flights and hotel room for a family of four. Banks decided to ask the city of Millville to help her out and Millville answered by fundraising $16,000 in a week worth of time. Debbie Trout noticed the story about Walkup and forwarded it to the Angels VP of Communications, Tim Mead. On August ninth, the family of four flew out to California and stayed until August 28. The three-hour procedure was set for August 13. Banks planned on taking Walkup to an Angel’s game on August 20 or 21 and when he left the hospital, he was wearing his Trout jersey. When the day came, Walkup was on the field for batting practice and he sat right behind home plate for the game. During batting practice, Trout approached Walkup. Walkup was nervous and excited. One of the things they talked about was their favorite place was to eat in Millville. Trout answered, “Jim’s Lunch” and Walkup said that he preferred Arby’s over Jim’s Lunch. The Angels lost the game, 9-2, to the Toronto Blue Jays, but it was one of the best days in Walkup’s life.