On Sunday, a Little League baseball hit and signed by a 12-year-old in a game 19 years ago in New Jersey sold for $15,600 with Robert Edward Auctions.
That 12-year-old was Mike Trout.
Five years before Trout was selected in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels — a compensatory pick for Mark Teixeira signing with the New York Yankees in late 2008 — he was a middle schooler already earning his nickname as the Millville Meteor.
In 2004, Trout slugged a four-bagger and subsequently signed the ball, which has been held by its original owner for the past two decades: Trout’s uncle.
The Trout signature — years from its modern refinement — is authenticated by JSA/James Spence Authentication and includes a notarized letter of provenance from the uncle. Another item included in the auction was a photograph of Trout in his Little League uniform, the earliest image of him as a ballplayer offered for sale.
“This is an incredible relic from the earliest days of Mike Trout’s legendary career,” said Brian Dwyer, president of Robert Edward Auctions. “It’s like having one of Picasso’s earliest sketches — this baseball is part of Trout’s origin story and is a one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia for any Trout collector or superfan.”
Through 20 games in 2023, Trout — a three-time MVP and 10-time All-Star — is leading the American League with a .440 on-base percentage. His 83.3 wins above replacement are 58th in MLB history and 15.9 more than any other active player.
Mike Trout Little League ball sold for $15,000