SALT LAKE CITY — Since July of 2011, Mike Trout has comprised the beginning, middle and end of the "Bees-turned-Halos" heroic folklore. With three All-Star games and an AL MVP linked to the Angels' center fielder, control of that narrative didn't appear to be changing anytime soon.
But on Tuesday night, it was former Bees catcher Carlos Perez who took a turn at writing his own page into the "notable past Bee players" canon (OK, he hasn't officially made it onto that Wikipedia page, but that should change soon).
Tied 4-4 with Seattle in the bottom of the ninth, Perez came to the plate for what would be his fourth at-bat as an Angel. Earlier he had singled to center, grounded out to shortstop, and lined out to left.
After taking a strike, Perez was able to square up Mariners reliever Dominic Leone's next offering and drove it through the air, over the left-field wall and into Seattle's bull pen.
It's my first day. That's my day to get it for my whole family. I'm really excited.
The player who had played in 555 minor league games since being drafted in 2008 had hit a walk-off home run in his first major league game.
"It's my first day," Perez told Angels reporter Alex Curry, his hair and jersey drenched from having been showered by his teammates with Gatorade. "That's my day to get it for my whole family. I'm really excited."
For the first time in four years, Trout no longer was the most popular player in Anaheim.
Well, maybe for one night at least.
Perez became one of only four players to have hit walk-off home runs in their first-ever big league appearances. Billy Parker of the California Angels first accomplished the feat in 1971, followed by Cleveland's Josh Bard in 2002. The latest to have done it before Tuesday night was Miguel Cabrera, who homered in his Marlin debut in 2003.
The Angels' search for a bigger bat — a result of having finished April ranked 25th in hitting — led to them calling up Perez, who batted .361 with eight doubles and two homers in 17 games as a Bee this season. His new club hopes he can keep up at least some of that offensive production while splitting catching duties with 10-year veteran Chris Iannetta.
Oh, and if Perez can keep doing the kind of stuff that he did Tuesday night, that's good with them too. Alex Clark is a sports writing intern for KSL.com. He currently studies digital journalism at BYU. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: alclark35