PHILADELPHIA (AP) — “Mike de Millville” readily shared his thoughts on his beloved Philadelphia Eagles.

Draft? I loved it, and even bragged that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman “made a splash” with his recent acquisitions.

“I think everyone wanted to see him get a receiver,” Mike said.

Angels outfielder Mike Trout is a season ticket holder with the Eagles. He already has match points in his collection and counts former Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz and tight end Zach Ertz among his friends.

The South Jersey native shares the same high hopes for his favorite football team as the callers jamming the radio waves around Philly.

Trout, or “Mike from Millville,” knew about the Eagles and the draft. They acquired 2020 Pro Bowl wide receiver AJ Brown and raised expectations after a playoff appearance.

Hey, maybe Brown can pass the ball from a touchdown to that three-time AL MVP in the green hoodie on game days at Lincoln Financial Field this season.

“I mean, every Eagles fan’s expectation is the Super Bowl for sure,” Trout said.

Trout made his long-awaited return Friday night when the Los Angeles Angels opened a three-game set in Philadelphia, just over 40 miles from the slugger’s hometown. He spent the night in Millville, took his 2-year-old son fishing earlier on Friday, “got a haircut and came here.”

And, he got into a traffic jam on his way to Citizens Bank Park.

He couldn’t find any deep shots as the Angels lost their ninth straight in a 10-0 loss to the Phillies.. Trout went 0 for 4 a night after being drilled on the left arm by a pitch in a loss to the MLB leaders New York Yankees.

“I’m in pain, but I can’t miss this series,” he said.

Trout lost track of the number of friends, family and other fans who requested weekend game tickets during his first series in Philadelphia in eight years. Los Angeles’ planned comeback in 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic.

Trout said before the game that he wanted to “enjoy tonight, see some familiar faces”. He signed autographs before the game for swarms of fans and received a hearty ovation for every at-bat. A the former mayor of Millville even rented a suite for Saturday’s game.

Around MLB, Trout is one of the faces of the sport. Back home, well, it’s just another familiar face.

“You go back to Jersey and it’s just Mike from Millville,” Trout said. “I don’t think I’m trying to change things very much. I still do things with my friends.

Traffic or not, Trout knows the way to the South Philly Sports Complex. He was a junior in high school when he hooked up with friends and partied in the parking lot in the deciding Game 5 in 2008 when the Phillies won the World Series.

“It was pretty, pretty intense. Pretty crazy,” Trout said, wearing his Angels cap backwards.

His career took off shortly after playing at Millville Senior High School.

Now 30, Trout is in his 12th major league season. He made his debut with the Angels in 2011 and won MVP awards in 2014, 2016 and 2019. He is a career .304 hitter with 323 home runs and 844 RBIs. This season, he’s batting .285 with 13 home runs and 28 RBIs.

“He’s just a normal human being who’s really good at baseball,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “We talk about a lot of different things. He likes to play golf. We talk a lot about golf. You have to go beyond baseball. It will absolutely fry your brain if you stay in an arena all the time. He’s able to walk away from that, especially with his place in the game and how he’s perceived and the kind of commentary that surrounds him.


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