Whether Mike Trout truly succeeds Derek Jeter as the face of baseball remains to be seen. But Trout made a proclamation reminiscent of his childhood idol Tuesday, when he vowed never to skip the All-Star Game.
Trout ranked among the leaders in the first release of All-Star voting results Tuesday, on pace to appear in his fourth consecutive All-Star Game. As long as he is selected for the game, he pledged he would not bow out of an appearance in favor of four days off.
"I'll never do that," Trout said. "You play baseball to win a championship, but there are things that come along with that. For me, it's a special honor."
Perhaps the most famous rhyme in All-Star history was uttered by St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Garry Templeton in 1979, selected as a reserve. "If I ain't startin', I ain't departin,' " Templeton said.
For some players fortunate enough to appear in multiple All-Star games, the novelty wears off and the four days off are preferred.
"You want to be there," Trout said. "It's a fun four days. It's great to be part of it."
Trout, 23, the most valuable player of last year's game and the defending American League MVP, ranked second among AL outfielders in results released Tuesday, trailing Lorenzo Cain of the Kansas City Royals.
Trout would be the first Angels player since Vladimir Guerrero (2004-07) selected for four consecutive All-Star games. The only Angels player with more consecutive selections: Hall of Famer Rod Carew, chosen for six straight games (1979-84).
If Tuesday's results hold, the nine AL starters among position players would be Trout, first baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, second baseman Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, designated hitter Nelson Cruz of the Seattle Mariners and five Royals -- Cain, outfielder Alex Gordon, third baseman Mike Moustakas, shortstop Alcides Escobar and catcher Salvador Perez.