With the start of the season on hold, Major League Baseball decided to highlight each team’s best performances to make for an Opening Day seen through classic games.
I tried to make the most of Opening Day without baseball by watching… a lot of baseball. On a day that was supposed to be Opening Day, Major League Baseball and its broadcast partners selected two classic Mike Trout performances to showcase the Angels and his unbelievable talent.
Game 1: Angels at Yankees May 26, 2018
There were a lot of things that jumped out right away while I was re-watching this game, the first was the players that were on this team and just how quickly things have changed.
This is a game in which fans saw Zack Cozart, Chris Young, Jefry Marte, Ian Kinsler, Luis Valbuena, and Kole Calhoun still on the team. The player that stood out most to me was Valbuena, considering he passed away not too long ago in a fatal car accident.
This was a game where Jose Briceno played his first Major League game and recorded his first hit and home run in the big leagues. It is also the game where a phenom by the name of Mike Trout went 5 for 5, showcasing his incredible ability to hit for contact, power, and speed. Trout gave nightmares to Yankees starter Sonny Gray, registering three hits in three at-bats, including two doubles and a home run.
In Trout’s final at-bat of the night, he beat out an infield ground ball, highlighting his incredible speed. The Angels would go on to win this game 11-4, leaving a mark in history at Yankee stadium, and for all the fans on the east coast who can’t stay up late enough to watch Trout play, they caught a glimpse of his magic.
Game 2: Angels at Blue Jays June 19, 2019
Just like in the previous game, the Angels 2019 match-up with the Blue Jays showcased the incredible talents of Mike Trout, as the star centerfielder had, count ’em, seven runs batting in during this game.
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Fans also got to see some new faces since 2018, including Justin Bour, Tommy La Stella, Jonathan Lucroy, and Luis Rengifo. While Trout didn’t go 5 for 5 in this game, he did hit two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. Both home runs reminded me what I miss most about baseball, watching Trout hit no-doubters when opposing outfielders don’t even bother to budge an inch toward the ball as it sails far over their heads and out of the ballpark.
Another thing that stood out to me as I watched this game was Trout’s confidence in himself. In one of his at-bats, he hit a deep fly ball into left field and his facial expression showed that he knew he just missed it, which shows how he understands his own abilities at the plate.
The Angels would also go on to win this game 11-6 in a contest that will be remembered for Trout’s career-high 7 RBIs.
There is no doubt as to why Major League Baseball decided to showcase these two games as a means to highlight the best player of this generation. It was a great opportunity for fans, like myself, to relive these games and it provided a well-placed distraction with what’s going on around the world right now.
Hopefully Major League Baseball and other station providers realize the power of showing classic games during the break so fans can have something to watch to keep their minds off other things. .