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Jersey boys Mike Trout, Todd Frazier serve as stars of All-Star Week

The two New Jersey natives outshined all of the other stars in Cincinnati this week.

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

CINCINNATI -- Finally, something baseball writers can care about from New Jersey that isn't Bruce Springsteen.

Jersey natives Mike Trout and Todd Frazier were the superstars of All-Star week in Cincinnati, with the Reds' Frazier winning Monday night's Home Run Derby in front of his home crowd at Great American Ball Park and Trout becoming the first back-to-back All-Star Game MVP in the sport's history after hitting a leadoff home run and scoring two runs as the American League defeated the National League, 6-3.

Frazier's performance on Monday was one for the ages, as he capped off one of the most entertaining derbies of all time with a walk-off homer in bonus time to defeat Dodgers' rookie Joc Pederson, 15-14. The 29-year-old was only the second player ever to win the Home Run Derby in front of his hometown crowd, joining Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg, who did it at Wrigley Field in 1990.

"It's tough to even put into words what I was going through yesterday and the excitement and the things I think about when I called timeout," Frazier said on Tuesday night. "I looked back and everybody is still fist-pumping me, 'Let's go! You got this.' Just seeing my family get excited, having my family get excited having my kid on the field, that was one of the best moments I've had in baseball."

Trout's opposite-field homer off Zack Greinke to start the game on Tuesday was the first leadoff homer in an All-Star Game since Bo Jackson did it in 1989. He was the first player to receive four plate appearances in the game since Jose Reyes in 2007, going 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.

"It means a lot," Trout said about his second straight MVP honor. "Obviously, came out with a 'W.' That's the biggest thing. When I go out there, I play my hardest every day. Doesn't matter what the score is. When I'm in there, I'm playing nine innings hard. It's just an incredible honor to be a part of the All-Star Game and win the MVP twice. It's something special for sure."

Trout, a native of Vineland, and Frazier, from Toms River, were part of a trio of Jersey All-Stars this year, joined by Trout's Angels' teammate and Newark native Hector Santiago. Other current major-leaguers from the state include Charlie Morton (Pirates), Rick Porcello (Red Sox) and Tommy La Stella (Cubs).

"It’s awesome, man," Santiago said in response to the attention placed on Jersey baseball throughout the week in Cincinnati. "When you can get guys in the big leagues and put New Jersey next to it, it makes all the guys from Jersey, all the little kids, all the families, and all the parents motivate their kids to get going. Get them doing their thing, get them out on the field.

"They’re bringing that New Jersey level of baseball up," Santiago added. "All three of us and some other guys like Porcello and a bunch of other guys in there that can revive it a little bit and get some kids involved."

Frazier, a Rutgers alum, helped put his school in the sports spotlight for the second time in as many weeks, as fellow Scarlet Knight Carli Lloyd scored three goals to lift the U.S. women's soccer team to a World Cup title.

"Put us back on the map, I guess," Frazier said. "When you talk about the state, we've got a lot of great athletes there. We need more athletes coming out of there to keep playing baseball and other sports. We had Carli Lloyd win the USA a gold medal and get the MVP there. So it's pretty cool so far, and I know both of them and we have a lot of pride in where we come from. We take that very seriously."

The two stars of the game took their celebration to the skies after Tuesday's game, as they shared a charter flight back to New Jersey postgame. The idea was originally Frazier's, according to Trout.

"He called me about a month ago and said, you know, if we're both in the All-Star Game, if I was getting a jet back home," Trout said. "Me and Todd, you know, we go back a while. We're always messing with each other. He's a great guy. Last night was something special. I get chills thinking about it. Just the way he put on a show last night for his hometown, all the pressure and stuff. It's going to be a fun flight home for sure."

"Oh, [Trout]'s definitely paying," Frazier joked about the flight. "Two MVPs, for sure. Yeah, it will be a good time. Hopefully, he doesn't fall asleep, because I'm going to get him. Either way, it was a fun time. He had a great All-Star Game again, and well-deserved."