With six weeks to go in the pennant race, fortunes in the American League Central have flipped: The Kansas City Royals moved into first place Monday night by posting a 3-2 victory against the Oakland Athletics. A few minutes earlier, the Detroit Tigers fell 11-6 at Pittsburgh and fell out of the top spot for the first time since June 19. They've spent 139 days in first place this season.
The Royals haven't been in first place this late in a season since Aug 29, 2003.
To celebrate the moment of his team's ascension with its eighth straight victory, Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson performed a backflip after catching a fly ball for the final out in the ninth. Teammate Billy Butler said that Dyson had told the players he'd do a flip if he caught the last out and:
"He did and he held his word."
When asked by Fox Sports if he's ever tried a backflip, Butler said no, and that he wouldn't ever. That's OK. More flips for Jarrod.
It also seemed like the Royals never would make the playoffs again, seeing as so many seasons have ticked away since they won the World Series in 1985. But they have a chance now, with their own team playing well and the Tigers struggling — even to stay healthy.
Here's the flip on repeat:
Here's the flip on eternal repeat:
And, because players doing flips always reminds us of stuff like this, here's a retro flip of Ozzie Smith on opening day in 1995:
[Editor's note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the Tigers were in first place for 140 straight days.]
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