Mike Trout: ‘It’s always good to come back home’ …

Mike TroutMike Trout landed in Philadelphia at about 2 a.m. late Sunday night, then made the 45-minute drive south to his parents’ house in the outskirts of his hometown of Millville, N.J. He slept in — missing out on an invitation to watch the Philadelphia Eagles practice — caught up with his niece, nephew, brother and sister, then went to Citizens Bank Park, where upwards of 8,000 people from his hometown made a visit to root him on. Below is a partial transcript of what he had to say about it.

On coming back to Philly …

It means a lot to have fans and people that follow me and the team. Growing up as a Phillies fan and Eagles fan and all those Phillies teams, it’s going to be pretty cool to see the reaction. I know when I was growing up as a kid, going to the Eagles games, if I saw someone with a different jersey on, they were getting booed. So it’s going to be interesting. I love it here. People are great. It’s where I was brought up, so it’s always good to be back.

 On how life has changed since he left …

It’s going to be a little different, running on the field tonight as opposed to a high school game. Just to look back and be here, and all the memories coming up – and the high school team is going to be on the field for BP, so that’s pretty cool. Life’s definitely changed a lot. It’s gone quick, though. I’ve been having fun. And I’ve been blessed, with great parents and great people that brought me up. I’m just happy to be here and having fun, playing the game I love.

On the interest level …

I love the support. I go back into town and in the offseason, I go into the stores and people are coming up to me, congratulating me, wanting to take a picture. It means a lot, coming from a small town, people and scouts doubted me, doubted the East coast. We’ve got some talent on the East coast, some good kids out there. Just hard work, dedication, a lot of sacrifices. Just to have the support behind you, telling you that 8,000 people are coming from Millville. There’s a lot of fans coming. It means a lot, and I’m very excited about tonight.

 On Chase Utley …

It’s always fun to play against guys you watched growing up. It’s going to be special, just to be here, to play, actually play in the games instead of just sit in the stands and watch them. I got to watch a couple games at the Vet, and I got to showcase here before the Draft. That was pretty cool. Now to be up here playing, it’s going to be fun.

 On making it out of Millville …

Just for younger kids, playing the game, or getting good grades in school, just knwing that they have a chance, and just hard work and dedication. If you put your mind to something, it’s possible. Millville – I didn’t think they were struggling, but there’s obviously struggles there. Coming from Millville, small town, East coast, it means a lot to me, my family, my friends, it’s definitely something special.

On his first at-bat at CBP …

It’s going to be something special. To think a couple years ago that I would be playing here — not watching, but actually playing — is a special feeling. There’s going to be some boos, there’s going to be some cheers. It’s baseball. It should be like that. I’m just going to go out there and play my game.

On what he wants to tell the people of Millville …

I want to thank them for coming. Their support means a lot. It’s very special for them to come out, take the time to see me play. I wish it was a four-game series, but it’ll be a good two days.

Alden

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