Trout has long admired Jeter, on and off field

Trout has long admired Jeter, on and off field

NEW YORK -- Mike Trout grew up in South New Jersey wanting to be a shortstop, a position he played until his senior year of high school, and he idolized Derek Jeter.

Now here he is, in the visiting clubhouse of Yankee Stadium as Jeter, 39, plays in his final season.

"It's tough," Trout said. "It's been fun to watch him play. I'm always following him. But I think he's going out at the right time. I'm sure he could play another five years or whatever, but he made that decision, and everybody's going to respect it, for sure."

Trout and Jeter bonded a little at the 2012 All-Star Game, and the Angels' center fielder got a jersey and a ball signed by Jeter when he visited the Bronx last season. Asked what sticks out most about Jeter's career, Trout said: "He's a winner; a leader on and off the field, staying out of trouble. He's every kid's role model."

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