Angels outfielder Mike Trout still thanks his parents for helping him stay so grounded even though he won last year's rookie of the year award and finished second in the American League MVP voting.
"They showed me the right way of living. They wanted me to stay humble and not become a cocky kid," said the 21-year-old Trout, who was born in Millville, N.J. "They wanted me to focus on education and keep my head on straight."
So when Trout recently was sitting at home watching TV and saw himself in ads for Subway sandwiches, it was pretty surreal.
"I always dreamed of making it in baseball, but life has moved pretty quickly for me," said Trout, who began last season in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. "So I'm sitting there and seeing myself on TV. It's definitely a cool feeling. I'm having so much fun right now."
Playbook decided to ask Trout some rapid-fire questions:
Any pressure on you this season since you had such a great 2012?
"I'm not feeling any pressure at all. I'm trying to do everything I can to help the team win and get to the postseason. That is our one goal."
You have a lot of nicknames. Which is your favorite?
"There are a lot of them out there. 'Millville Meteor.' 'The Young Mickey Mantle.' It's pretty crazy what they are coming up with. My favorite is just the basic one, 'Trouty.'"
You now are working with Subway. They are really pushing healthy eating. Did you eat healthy as a kid?
"That's a funny question. As I get older every year, I'm eating better. As a kid, who can turn down chips and candy? But I'm getting better."
So you're saying you still eat bad foods?
"Of course, when you're there watching a game. That's just on occasion. But it doesn't really compare to home cooking."
What does your mom make that you miss to this day being away from home?
"She makes this chicken and broccoli, cheesy mushroom stuff that is pretty good. That's what I miss. I have simple needs. Growing up, I was such a picky eater. I'm finally starting to expand."
Have you done a good job balancing eating and working out?
"I started working out five days a week, but as we got closer to spring training, we upped that to seven days a week. It's not just working out. It's agility training. Weights. My trainer mixes it up."
If you weren't playing baseball, what do you think you'd be doing?
"As a kid, I had this ultimate goal to be a teacher. I wanted to be a history teacher like my dad."
What about another sport?
"That would be golf. I'm really into the game. My handicap is about an 8. I haven't played that much recently. I have some other goals I need to attain first."