Friday, May 15, 2009

Video: Jack Armstrong flips out

By Barca Blog - It’s not every day you see a 6-foot-7 guy do a standing back flip.

All it takes, though, is a few of Jack Armstrong’s teammates to ask one simple question and myth becomes reality.

“Jack, you gonna do the back flip today?”

The freshman pitcher politely obliges their request and then goes airborne in the middle of the team’s pregame huddle (which Armstrong refers to as “the energy circle”) just before first pitch - eliciting a raucous reaction among his fellow ‘Dores.

“I was just stunned,” head coach Tim Corbin, who first heard about Armstrong’s feat when assistant coach Erik Bakich described it after a high school recruiting visit. “It’s a kid who’s 6-foot-7 and stands in one position and doesn’t get a running start and just does a back flip. It’s an unbelievable spring of athleticism.”

The Jupiter, Fla., native first gained inspiration to do the move after learning that his father, Jack, Sr., performed the same stunt during his seven seasons playing in the Major Leagues. And some guy named Ozzie Smith was famous for it, too.

“I thought I’d keep the ritual going (in my family),” said Armstrong, who practiced as a child on the diving board at the swimming pool. “I told myself I was going to do it. Not too many big guys can really do that. I thought it would be something cool to kind of fire up the team.”

Of course, there’s always the chance that one bad leap could end up as an embarrassing YouTube moment watched by millions.

“I just shake my head every time,” Corbin quipped, “because as I tell him, ‘You’re like an airplane - an inch off and you’re crashing.”

I recorded Armstrong’s flip… watch below

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