ANAHEIM, Calif. – Stumping for his first All-Star appearance, this by way of MLB's final vote gimmick, Angels third baseman Chone Figgins(notes) said Monday that if elected he would pay tumbling tribute to one of the great players in St. Louis Cardinals history.
Figgins' campaign promise (delivered with a grin): He'll arrive at his position in the manner of his favorite player growing up, with a backflip, just like former Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith.
“If it wouldn't bother either team and it wouldn't bother Ozzie, I would do it,” Figgins said. “I would do it.”
He's on the American League ballot with Detroit's Brandon Inge(notes), Texas' Ian Kinsler(notes), Toronto's Adam Lind(notes) and Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena(notes). Only Figgins has promised any in-game gymnastics.
In his walk year, Figgins, 31, is having one of his best big-league seasons, entering Monday batting .312 with 25 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. Among qualifying major-league leadoff hitters, only Derek Jeter(notes) (.396) and Ichiro(notes) Suzuki (.396) have better on-base percentages than Figgins (.389).
Figgins said he'd enlisted family members and other acquaintances to help get out the vote.
“Trying to go coast to coast, man,” he said, smiling. “Everybody from the backwoods to the cities.”
Raised not far from Tampa, Fla., the speedy Figgins liked the Cardinals for their running game, and was especially enamored by Smith.
So, go ahead, flip for Figgy.