• From Hansen: "This kid is on the road to greatness, I think. He's that special. But if there's a little kid around, if there's somebody that wants to meet him, he engages that. He takes the time. And that's the kind of person that I'm looking at, more than the baseball player. He's a well-raised young man. Mike Trout loves -- I mean loves -- the competition. But if there's a moment where he can show some humility and some compassion for a young kid, he's going to do it. I've seen it already. That's pretty special, I think."
• From Dempster: "How do you not love this guy, man? I mean, not just numbers-wise, but how he plays. He hits that [489-foot home run in Kansas City] almost over the waterfall in center field, and before it's over the fence, he's almost at second base. In case it miraculously hit a seagull or something, he was not going to be standing there on second. He was going to be on third. I love that about him. You never see him not run hard. He never styles a home run. He never bat-flips it. He always just has so much respect for the game. ... He's just got 'it.' Whatever 'it' is, he's got it."
• From Harang: "A guy with his kind of talent, I mean, it's disgusting. [Laughs]. But it's special, too. You don't get these types of players very often. ... He's fun to watch. He's actually not fun to watch when he's on the other side of the diamond. But all the rest of the games, he's really fun to watch."
• From Bane: "In terms of makeup, he's up there at the top of guys I've drafted and signed. ... When I picture him, I picture him sliding into third, with a look on his face you just don't see very much, that look of sheer pleasure. The last time I saw that look was on the face of Little League kids who were saying, 'Wait till after the game, when we can go get snow cones.'"
But now, as this magical Tuesday evening presents us with yet one more reason to reflect on where Mike Trout is going, it won't be for snow cones. No sir. For this man, unless something unforeseen derails him, there is something way more flavorful ahead.
"Your first instinct," said Wilson, "is to compare guys to him. So you think, 'OK, let me think of the list of comparables.' And it's like every dude [you could compare him to] is in the Hall of Fame. So you want to avoid rushing to that judgment. Because it's so fun just to watch him play, you just want to pick up the popcorn and watch the show.
"Just let him be himself. You don't have to compare him. He'll be good enough himself that everyone is going to want to be the next Mike Trout. [Laughs.] I know I wish I was the next Mike Trout."
So maybe this is the star-spangled night where it hits us. That we're watching the best player on the field -- even though the rest of the men on that field are the best players alive. That we're watching a special talent with a personality to match. That it almost feels as if we're watching some sort of superhero, gliding through life -- and North America's emerald outfields -- on a potentially historic journey.
Now we just need to figure out which superhero he's about to become.
"Right now?" Dempster asked, laughing. "It seems like he'd be Captain America."