The play came on June 27 at Oriole Park, where Trout catapulted off the rubberized tarp in center field and stretched his left arm about five feet over the fence to somehow take a home run away from J.J. Hardy.
Trout, the American League's Rookie of the Month for four straight months, was an easy selection as baseball's best rookie. But like with the Baseball Writers' Association of America's American League MVP Award, he lost out to Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera for the MVP GIBBY.
Major League Baseball's A-listers won 2012 GIBBYs trophies -- the ultimate honors of baseball's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards featured nominees in 21 categories. Individual honors went to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, comeback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.
GIBBY trophies were also awarded for the year's top storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic and postseason moment, from MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
Trout finished second in the AL in batting average (.326), first in steals (49) and runs (129), third in on-base percentage (.399) and third in slugging (.564). He robbed four homers (only three others have done that since 2004) and saved 23 runs altogether (fifth in the Majors). He made the All-Star team, was the unanimous choice for the BBWAA's AL Rookie of the Year Award and spawned a heated MVP debate that ultimately saw him finish second in voting.
Only Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle have notched a Wins Above Replacement (WAR) higher than Trout's 10.7 at age 25 or younger. Only Ted Williams, Mel Ott and Alex Rodriguez have hit at least .320 with 30 homers in their age-20 season. Only Ty Cobb, back in 1907, has stolen more than 40 bases at a younger age.
And no player -- any age, any tenure -- has combined for at least 45 steals with 125 runs and 30 homers in one season, not to mention a .320-plus batting average.
"Coming into the year, getting the callup and playing every day," Trout said, "I had confidence in myself and I knew what my potential was."
And on the first inning of a Wednesday afternoon game in Baltimore, he had all the confidence in the world that he'd be taking away what looked like a no-doubter off Hardy's bat.
"That's probably the best play I've seen against me," Hardy said after that game, an eventual 13-1 win by the Angels. "Maybe the best I've seen against anyone else, too. Pretty good."