When looking at the MLB record book, there are still many records that seem out of reach and I often wonder if the records set by players like Babe Ruth will ever be broken? Like Wayne Gretzky, these players burst on the scene in a league of their own and as a result raised the bar, which ultimately showed future generations what can be accomplished and drives the game forward. To bring back to baseball, I don’t see Rickey Henderson’s single season stolen base record ever being touched, not because players have gotten slower but because catchers have gotten better. Babe Ruth’s Home Run Record is another one that I have had trouble seeing players passing (let alone Hank Aaron’s or Barry Bonds). It’s just something about that 700 HR threshold that I can’t wrap my head around.
Looking at the young players coming up, there is a ton of talent and even in looking at today’s best (forget about his age), Mike Trout, that 700 threshold still seems like something out of mythology. But when we look at what Mike Trout has accomplished, at such a young age. This player may be our best shot at reaching for history and driving the game and the next generation forward.
To start, lets look at his age. At 25, Mike Trout has hit 183 Home Runs! Now to put this in perspective of how early Mike Trout became in a league of his own, Babe Ruth who started his career at the same age of 19, hit 103 by age 25! Trout’s birthday is in August, and this season is far from over. At the same age, Mike Trout has 80 more HRs and counting.
Mike Trout has an incredible jump on one of the greats in Babe Ruth, because Babe Ruth really hit his prime at age 24, when one could say that Mike Trout hit his prime at age 20! And looking at Mike Trout’s health and how many games he’s started, he is looking a lot more like Zeus than Achilles in this novel.
Now to keep myself grounded a little bit, there is a pattern with these players that I hope Mike Trout doesn’t fall into. In my past article giving the Case for Joe Mauer being the norm and not another American tragedy, it showed other stars who peak early and drop off at age 31 and the prime example of this phenomenon was Mike Trout’s teammate, Albert Pujols. If this is the future for Mike Trout as well, this will not taint his career by any means, but in the right now, we get to dream of that 700 threshold being passed by one of our up and coming young stars. Just another reason to love baseball and its history.