I read last night that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout were both being called up to their respective Major League franchises for their 2012 debuts. For Harper, this will be his first cup of coffee in the Majors. Whether he sticks this year or not remains to be seen.
For Mike Trout, he is returning to the Majors after a brief trial run last season during which he batted .220 with five home runs, 16 RBI and an OPS+ of 88. Not really all that bad for a young kid.
And that may be the point we are forgetting here. Yes, we know they are young. But let’s really try to put into perspective how young they are.
Mike Trout was born on August 7, 1991. Bryce Harper was born October 16, 1992. Let’s take a look at what was going on in the world in each of those years.
In 1991, the year Trout was born:
1) Operation Desert Storm was launched by Bush I vs. Iraq.
2) Boris Yeltsin becomes Russia’s first popularly elected President.
3) Apartheid in South Africa is officially dismantled.
4) The internet is first made available to unrestricted commercial use.
5) The Balkan War begins when Slovenia and Croatia declare independence from Yugoslavia.
6) Lead singer Freddie Mercury of the Rock band Queen dies of AIDS.
7) A former postal worker kills four people in the post office where he used to work in Ridgewood, N.J., resulting in the first use of the phrase, “Going Postal.”
8) Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is arrested in his apartment in Milwaukee.
9) Heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson is arrested and charged with rape.
10) The Twins defeat the Braves, 4 games to 3, in the World Series. Jack Morris pitches a ten-inning complete game in the Series Game 7 clincher.
In 1992, the year Harper was born:
1) Prince Charles and Princess Diana separate.
2) Bill Clinton is elected President of the U.S.A.
3) The Nicotene patch is introduced to help stop smoking.
4) America’s largest shopping mall, The Mall of America, opens in Minnesota.
5) In a triumph of the public sector over the private sector, Mafia boss John Gotti is sentenced to life in prison.
6) The first McDonald’s restaurant opens in China.
7) Rioting breaks out in Los Angeles following the acquittal of four police officers in the Rodney King trial.
8) The NAFTA Treaty, between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, is signed.
9) The F.D.A. urges stopping the use of silicone gel breast implants. The high water mark of the big-busted beach bimbo comes to an end.
10) The Toronto Blue Jays defeat the Atlanta Braves in a six game World Series.
I don’t know about you, but most of these events don’t feel like they took place two decades ago. I suppose two decades from now, if we’re still around, we’ll be able to evaluate the careers of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. Here’s wishing both young men the best of luck.