by Clarence Council III, special to angelsnationcom
Mike Trout and I couldn’t have come from farther apart, physically or geographically
Even though I was born and raised in the south side of Chicago — where a different Mike (Jordan) performed his greatest athletic feats, there is a man I tremendously admire from the Los Angeles Angels.
That man’s name is Michael Nelson Trout.
Now, I don’t want to sound cocky, but I certainly want to emulate Mike Trout. From my perch at my computer, I can’t match Trout’s athleticism — but his work ethic, his tenacity, and his simple “desire to be great” — those things are all in reach of all of us.
No one would call me “great.” But I admire Mike Trout’s hard-headed desire to the best of the best at what he does the best.
And that’s being one of the best baseball players we’ve ever seen. And a superb human being as well.
I’m one of thousands who have looked up to Mike Trout from afar. Even though we have never met, we both have a love of sports that simply won’t go away.
There is not a big age difference between Trout and myself.
Mike Trout and myself both became interested in sports at an early age — him on the athletic side and me on the journalistic and academic side.
Greatness is what you personally make of it, I suppose. I guess Mr. Trout thinks that way, too. I’d like to ask him that question some day.
Trout’s legend started playing way back in high school in Millville, NJ, half a country away.
We all know about the numerous awards and honors he has achieved in his storied 10-year MLB career. We know how great Mike Trout is at the game of baseball and life.
He just never quits. Trout has continued to use his tenacity and skill; continued to better himself and improve and work his way through up to the top of nearly every MLB statistic list of the greatest in his age group; now even crossing generations of players.
I’m here writing as Clarence Council III, a young journalist — this is a dream I have pursued and I will continue to pursue as a sportswriter, wherever that leads. When I look at the determined face of Mike Trout, I think higher, and better and better.
I may not achieve “excellence” as a sportswriter or broadcaster. But I’m sure going to try!
Just listening to different announcers and watching sporting events in high school sparked my interest. I suppose superior athletes like Mike Trout have showed me what determination can do.
Sportswriting was so exciting. It still is. No matter how many bylines or broadcasts I do, I know 100% that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
This is it! …
I’ve worked very hard — going through several schools and trade programs to enhance my skills. I went on to complete two internships and I’m not boasting, but I made the Deans’ List at Simeon Career Academy in along the way.
So then, I look at my picture of Mike Trout and think of the ups and downs he faced to get to his ultimate goal of not only playing Major League Baseball — but playing the game, in the ultimate way, always trying to be the best. That goes all the way through Trout’s physical gifts as an athlete to a role model and an entirely decent human being.
Always trying to be better.
All players get injuries and letdowns along the way, and Trout is no exception. He wasn’t always the Most Valuable Player of the American League every season — but that the award itself was out of his control. The 100% determination is the one thing that Trout has always controlled in his career.
Mike Trout is only 30 years old and is still overcoming — as if he’s not good enough yet? Can you believe that?
How did Trout feel when he fell short sometimes?.
That reminds me of some of the challenges and obstacles that I have had to face throughout my life because of my physical disability (Cerebral Palsy). I share that disability with a couple other folks in the baseball media — Jason Benetti, ESPN’s play-by-play announcer for the White Sox, and Kurt Loe, long-time feature writer for Angels Magazine.
I learned to not let anyone or anything stop me from doing the things I want to accomplish. My Bachelor of Science Degree from Southern Illinois University for Broadcasting in sports administration is like the MVP to me. ****
Mike Trout may even become the greatest player in MLB history.
The Angels rewarded him with a very lucrative contract — but that’s not enough for Mike Trout. He continues to do great things on and off the field.
I am patiently waiting for my first opportunity to show my greatness in sports journalism. When it comes, the sky’s the limit!
— Clarence Council III has produced and hosted over 2,000 hours of sports content for internet radio shows. He’s executive producer of Chicago’s “Insane Sports: Sports With A Bang!” show.
You can listen to Clarence’s broadcasting at chicagolandsportsradio.com
He’s looking forward to the Angels’ visit to the south side of Chicago when Trout and the Halos visit the Windy City in late September.
*** (–Editor’s note: From time to time, we at Angels Nation like to remind our readers of the special greatness of Mike Trout. If you have any special memories of Trout that you’d like to share, please contact on Twitter @AngelsNation5)
**** (–Editor’s note II: For Clarence’s sake, Go Salukis! — Southern Illinois has ruined more of my NCAA basketball tournaments than I’d care to remember. But from now on, I’m taking them to the Sweet Sixteen! — although maybe not this year. ~ Stu Matthews)
You can find Clarence Council III and his work on Twitter: @CouncilIII