Entering tonight’s game in Anaheim, Super phenom Bryce Harper and super-mega-ultra-the next-Babe-Ruth-phenom Mike Trout had only matched up once before in their careers, a three-game set in April of 2014.
During that series, most of the attention was on Albert Pujols, who hit his 500th career homer into the Red Porch in near dead-center field in the second game of the series.
Harper wasn’t particularly impressive and Mike Trout, who went 5 for 14 in the series, on the way to the AL MVP that season, was somewhat overshadowed by Pujols.
However, ask most baseball pundits then and now who they think is more impressive, and the majority will say that they think more highly of Trout than Harper.
But any fan that knows Harper knows that he’s one of the most competitive guys in the game, that has always and forever will want to be remembered as the greatest to ever play the game — so being ranked as number two probably isn’t Harper’s favorite thing.
With that in mind, Harper stepped up to the plate in the top of the first inning on Tuesday night and launched a fly ball into deep left center field, over the head of Mike Trout and over the wall, traveling 405 ft at an exit velocity of 103 miles per hour off the bat.
“Hey, @MikeTrout.— MLB (@MLB) July 19, 2017
First AB, hit a home run to left-center.”- @Bharper3407, probably. pic.twitter.com/X7RjjLhMjs
Bryce Harper (30) off RHP Jesse Chavez (29) - 103.2 mph, 28 degrees (405 ft Home Run)— MLBBarrelAlert (@MLBBarrelAlert) July 19, 2017
92.1 mph Two-Seamer#Nationals @ #Angels (T1) pic.twitter.com/esA11kQb87
The baseball world quivered momentarily in excitement. Was this Harper coming in to Trout’s home stadium and fully announcing an all-out battle over the next three games, with whoever finished on top being deemed the superior player?
If Harper did issue that challenge, then Mike Trout seemed to have no problem with it, launching his own home run in the bottom of the first to nearly the exact same spot, but a little farther.
The homer came off the bat at 108 MPH and traveled around 45 feet farther than Harper’s, landing in the stands 448 feet away from home plate.
“Got you, @Bharper3407.” - @MikeTrout, definitely. pic.twitter.com/49UgmGYXXD— MLB (@MLB) July 19, 2017
Here’s the best part: we get to see this again tonight, and two more times later this summer. Sign us up, please.