The 2014 All-Star Game on July 15 revolved around Derek Jeter for the most part. However, Jeter did not win the All-Star Game MVP at the end, like Cal Ripken Jr. did in his big farewell 13 years ago. But when Mike Trout took the honors instead and got the hits that gave the American League a 5-3 victory, it made it all the more easy to say the torch of baseball superstardom officially passed.
Although Jeter got the night's big highlight with a leadoff double in the first -- whether Adam Wainwright giftwrapped it or not -- it was Trout who really made it count with a triple that drove Jeter home. Trout was later sent home when Miguel Cabrera hit a home run to give the American League a commanding 3-0 lead.
The National League cut it to 3-2 by the time Jeter and Trout came up again. While Jeter got a single in his final All-Star Game at-bat, Trout couldn't advance him any further this time, despite a long fly ball to left field. Afterwards, Jeter was taken out and the NL went on to tie things up at 3-3.
Trout was allowed to stay on for one more at-bat, which turned out to make all the difference. His RBI double in the fifth put the American League back up for good, as a subsequent sacrifice fly from Jose Altuve provided the last run of the evening.
Even when Trout became the second youngest MVP in Midsummer Classic history, it was linked up to Jeter as a sign of a passing torch between baseball's past and present biggest star. The torch was probably passed well before this All-Star Game, however, especially now that Trout is favored to finally win the regular season MVP in his third season, after being the runner-up in his first two years.
It is even more obvious now that the Los Angeles Angels finally have their act together and are poised to take Trout to his first postseason -- while Jeter is a longshot to make one last October. With that, all Trout has left to do is to put together 17 more successful seasons, and win a couple of World Series rings, to get the big final act that Jeter is in the middle of now.