SECAUCUS — The text message came on Debbie Trout’s cell phone Tuesday night.
Immediately, the color returned to her husband Jeff’s face.
Their son Mike smiled broadly.
His life-long dream was minutes away.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected the Millville High School senior with the 25th pick in the first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The 17-year-old center fielder is the first local player selected in the first round since the draft began in 1965.
“I can’t wait to get out there and play pro ball,” Trout said.
The text came from Trout’s advisor and soon-to-be agent Craig Landis. It let Trout and his family know the Angels were about to choose him.
Commissioner Bud Selig soon announced Trout’s selection. Trout turned and hugged his mother. He then donned an Angels cap, held up a team jersey and posed for pictures with Selig.
Before that, the Trouts had had a nerve-wracking two hours.
The draft was held in MLB Network's Studio 42. It is named after Jackie Robinson, who wore that number. It's set up like a baseball stadium. Trout sat between his parents in the third base dugout. His older sister Teal, 23, and brother Tyler, 21, also were with him.
"I wish this place was my bedroom," Trout said.
Of the 32 players selected in the first round, only Trout attended the draft.
The spotlight was on him and his family. They wondered when he would be picked. They had been in contact with several teams before the draft, but nothing was guaranteed.
The Trouts joked that if Mike wasn't selected, they would drive north instead of south back to Millville.
"My stomach was turning," Jeff said. "You don't know what's going to happen. I said, ‘Are we going to sit here for three days?' We didn't want to be the kid left in the dugout."
Two times before he was picked, players with the first name Mike were chosen.
Trout couldn't help but think it might be him.
"My stomach dropped a couple of times," Trout said.
Even Selig was aware of what Trout was going through.
"I knew he was here," Selig said. "I kept checking the cards (to see if Trout was being picked). I give him all the credit in the world. Anybody who has that type of confidence to come here, that individual is tremendous."
Trout began Tuesday by going to school.
"It was great," he said. "People were coming up congratulating me."
Trout constantly got texts from friends throughout the day wishing him well.
He and his family arrived at MLB studios in the afternoon and got a tour of the facility.
Trout looked nervous. He exorcised his pre-draft tension with gum he chewed furiously before the event started.
"It's pretty crazy," he said before the draft. "I don't even think I could tell you how I'm feeling. The spotlight is on in a couple of minutes."
The draft was an impressive scene.
Representatives from each Major League team attended. Tommy Lasorda represented the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dallas Green was there for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Trout had his own rooting section. Millville coach Roy Hallenbeck, assistant Kenny Williams and a few teammates sat in the outfield bleachers.
The first round was a television show. During the first commercial break, Jeff put his arm around Mike and gave him some reassuring pats on the back.
During another break, MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds shouted over to the Trouts.
"How you doing, Mike?" Reynolds said.
The family smiled. Teal held up crossed fingers.
The Angels had picks 24 and 25 in the first round. They were compensation for losing free agents Francisco Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira to the New York Mets and the New York Yankees, respectively.
Landis' text message came just before the Chicago White Sox made the 23rd pick.
The Angels selected Randal Grichuk, an outfielder from Lamar Consolidated High School in Rosenberg, Texas, with the 24th pick.
Trout and Grichuk know each other from playing in national tournaments.
"That's his buddy," Jeff said of Grichuk.
Then it was Trout's turn.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Trout wowed scouts with his speed and power. He hit a state-record 18 home runs this season.
The Trouts had dinner with Angels director of scouting Eddie Bane two weeks ago.
"The Angels are a tremendous organization," Jeff said. "They're about player development. We're sending them a 17-year-old kid, and he's going to be in good hands."
The next step for Trout is to negotiate a contract. The players selected in last year's first round received a signing bonus of at least $1.1 million. Trout does have a scholarship to East Carolina University to fall back on.
"It may be complicated," Jeff said of contract negotiations. "But we're not going to worry about that tonight."
Tuesday night was for celebrating.
The Trout family left here to head back to the Thunderbolt Club in Millville where they planned to party with friends.
Trout looked relieved and happy as he met with reporters.
"I'm going to sleep well tonight," he said.
Before he left the studio, Trout hugged his coaches.
Some fans in the gallery then called him over. He joined them in the stands to pose for pictures and sign autographs.
That's the life of a first-round draft pick.
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