When you see A’s infielder Tony Kemp doing a backflip before games this [hopeful] baseball season, we can tell you it is a tribute to Hall of Famer, Ozzie Smith.
“I grew up a big Cardinals fan,” Kemp said via FaceTime last week. “It was kind of inspired by Ozzie”
Kemp said his father took him to a few games, and instantly he was hooked on the St. Louis baseball culture. Shortly after, the work of learning a backflip began on a trampoline.
“Finally until we got enough confidence from the trampoline, I tried to take it to the ground,” Kemp recalled. “Once I figured it out, figured out how my body works and tried to land it … there were some failed attempts in the beginning stages.”
And if you’re trying to figure out when, and why they appear now:
“Can’t do it every time, but every now and then, I try to surprise the fans with something,” Kemp explained.
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) February 26, 2020
One of the few remaining question areas for Oakland is at second base, with Kemp on the short-list for consideration as a regular. Spring training is, only spring training, but he still hit .345 in 29 at-bats with the new club.
“I don’t know how they felt … but I felt like I fit right in,” Kemp joked.
“They’ve been knocking on the door for the past years. I feel honestly, in my heart, this is the year that it’s time to make a splash. We have the resources to do it.”
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As for when and where MLB’s suspended season could resume, Kemp still has zero details but a much more optimistic instinct over the last few weeks.
“I definitely think there is an end in sight, and I think we can get on the field. Being on the group text with the guys I know they’re anxious to get on the field.”