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Mike Trout named Daily News' Sportsperson of the Year

Los Angeles Angels outfielder and New Jersey native Mike Trout was named the Daily News' Sportsperson of the Year for 2012.

Jared Wickerham

Though he plays for the Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout was named the Daily News' Sportsperson of the Year. Ryan Lawrence offers some pretty interesting facts and stories about Trout and his rapid ascent through Los Angeles' minor league system, to his record-setting rookie season.

Trout, who grew up a Philadelphia sports fan, expressed his gratitude to the paper for the honor.

"It's pretty cool," said Trout, who calls Chase Utley his favorite all-time Philadelphia athlete and was at Citizens Bank Park as a fan for the World Series-clinching game in 2008. "Growing up being a Phillies fan, an Eagles fan, Sixers and Flyers, too, I'd read the newspaper every day. So getting a chance to be recognized like this, it feels good. I watch all of those other players, so it feels good."

Trout was arguably the league's best player last season, hitting an amazing .326/.399/.564, with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases in 139 games with the Angels.

Needless to say, Trout was the runaway winner for the 2012 American League Rookie of the Year award, and finished second in the AL MVP voting, losing to Miguel Cabrera.

Unfortunately for Phillies fans, Lawrence's column is a bit bittersweet. Lawrence talks about when Trout was still at Millville High School in New Jersey -- and mentions Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane coming to watch Trout play. Lawrence also notes that Philadelphia's entire brass went to watch Trout play, but that Philadelphia didn't have a first round pick in 2009, because they signed Raul Ibanez the previous winter.

Yes, Raul Ibanez potentially cost the Phillies a chance at signing Trout.

Still, Trout's story is excellent, and Lawrence's piece on the New Jersey native is well worth a read.