DENVER -- Rockies rookie shortstop Trevor Story has achieved many firsts by hitting four home runs in his first three Major League games. But he's more than a homer machine.Friday's 2:10 p.m. home opener against the Padres at Coors Field will be Story's introduction to the Rockies' fans -- as
DENVER -- Rockies rookie shortstop Trevor Story has achieved many firsts by hitting four home runs in his first three Major League games. But he's more than a homer machine.
Friday's 2:10 p.m. home opener against the Padres at Coors Field will be Story's introduction to the Rockies' fans -- as well as his introduction to Denver.
"I've just been to Coors three times," Story said. "I've never taken batting practice on the field, though."
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So let's meet Story, a 23-year-old from Irving, Texas, with a magnetic personality molded by diverse experience.
While earning a starting job in Spring Training, Story kept a mostly poker-faced on-field demeanor, although six home runs in Cactus League play, followed by the four this week, have made him break character.
"That's just how I've played the game," Story said. "I have a lot of fun playing the game, too. You see me smiling in the dugout or on the field if I make a good play. But I love this game so much that I put a lot of effort and energy into it. I like to focus and be serious when I'm playing."
Off the field, Story cracks up.
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"A lot of my friends and a lot of guys in here make fun of me, because I laugh. … I giggle sometimes," he said. "I get a lot of flak from my friends, because sometimes they think it's annoying. It's just very, very easy to make me laugh. I make a lot of people who aren't funny think they're funny."
If not for baseball, Story said he would be a firefighter and paramedic, like his father, Ken.
"He'd take me to the station," Story said. "I fell in love with that, too. I vaguely remember him leaving there -- the alarm would go off and they all scurried around, got dressed and had to get out of there pretty quick. It's pretty cool to be there and be around that environment."
His mother, Teddie, is CEO of Irving Cares, which runs a food pantry and provides emergency assistance with rent, utilities and prescriptions, as well as employment services. And she made sure her son understood the importance of caring.
"She had me go there a couple times in middle school and a few times in high school go out there and volunteer for the food pantry, just sort out canned goods and deliver canned goods and help anybody that needs help," Story said. "Every offseason, I try to do some type of volunteering. I grew up being very appreciative of what I have, and not taking for granted things and people that are around you. Don't get too caught up in materialistic stuff."
Story realized his baseball dream a long time ago, when he played high school ball with older brother, Tyler -- who would play outfield and first base at the University of Texas, and now is a graduate student in physical therapy at Missouri State University.
"He was a senior. I was kind of mad at our coach for not putting me on varsity my freshman year, but I was moved up for the last four games," Story said. "When I got there, I think I did well. But really, it was just fun playing with my brother, because I always wanted to do that -- especially for the Irving Tigers."
Story is certainly getting into the swing of the new season, but there's more on his radar.
"I'm a die-hard baseball guy. I eat and breathe it," Story said. "But I talk to my family, hang out with my family, keep up with other sports. I love LSU -- that's where I was going to go play [before the Rockies drafted him 45th overall in 2011]. I love keeping up with them. A couple of my friends play college ball, and I keep up with them. I watch Dallas Mavericks basketball, and pretty much any other sport."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.