Newest Angels Hall of Famer Knoop impressed by Trout

Newest Angels Hall of Famer Knoop impressed by Trout

Newest Angels Hall of Famer Knoop impressed by Trout

ANAHEIM -- Bobby Knoop was inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame prior to Thursday's game, but first he spent some time talking about a current superstar.

The second baseman, who spent the first five-plus years of his career with the Angels, is not the first to compare Mike Trout to some of the game's all-time greats, but as someone who played in an era full of superstars, his words come with significance.

While Knoop was reluctant to compare players, he did discuss the 22-year-old phenom.

"You've got to be a complete dummy not to have Mike Trout impress you, my goodness. Look at what he's done and at such a young age," Knoop said. "He's such a wonderful young man. The first time I saw him walk away from me with that almost-shaved head under that cap, with his shoulders about 4-feet wide and chisled -- I'm not comparing him by any means to anybody, but the person I thought of was [Mickey] Mantle."

While Trout is carving out his own legacy and will be compared to many others throughout his career, Thursday was about Knoop, who was inducted during a pregame ceremony. The induction ceremony included fellow Angel Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Chuck Finley, Jim Fregosi, Bobby Grich and Brian Downing.

"It's pretty incredible to me," said Knoop, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner and four-time recipient of the Owner's Trophy for the team MVP. "It is really special. This is home to me."

The second baseman was selected by the Angels in the 1963 Rule 5 Draft and played with the team until he was traded during the '69 season.

"I played as hard as I could play," Knoop said. "As long as I'm honest with myself and the people that I deal with, I'm happy."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.