How deception gave a ball player his nickname

Mike Trout

Here's how baseball player Mike Trout, who plays for the Los Angeles Angels, got his nickname.

A baseball fan who likes colorful baseball nicknames from the past decided to dub Mr. Trout with the name "Millville Meteor", because Mr. Trout grew up in Millville, New Jersey. This was a takeoff on "Commerce Comet", the nickname of the famous baseball player Mickey Mantle, who grew up in Commerce, Oklahoma.

The fan posted his thoughts on the forum pages at the website Something Awful.

Pranksters from the website then decided to update Mr. Trout's Wikipedia page with this new nickname, and to "prove" it really was his nickname, they linked to various real articles, even though none of them actually mentioned the nickname. Nobody noticed these fake sources.

Soon, sports journalists and bloggers who read Wikipedia began using the fake nickname, and pranksters quickly updated Mike Trout's Wikipedia page with new links to articles by those journalists and bloggers who mentioned the nickname, which of course proved that the nickname was legitimate.

Then mainstream sites such as Baseball-Reference.com added the nickname "Millville Meteor" to its well-researched statistics and facts about Mike Trout.

Finally, Mr. Trout heard about it and said:
"I don't know where they got that."
Yet later, a baseball, signed by Mr. Trout, appeared with the following words:

A signed Mike Trout baseball, with 
the words "The Millville Meteor"

- The phenom, ESPN>>
- Mike Trout, Baseball Reference>>

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