SPOKANE, Wash. — His nickname is Tank.
He's smashed 27 home runs in his minor league career.
Oh, and he can do a backflip with ease.
"I do it sometimes to show off and make people go, 'Wow! He can do that!? That's crazy,' " said Colin Simpson.
Standing 5'9" and weighing 230 pounds, Spokane Indians utility player Colin Simpson isn't exactly a guy you'd expect to have a background in gymnastics. However, he spent years competing. His mother, Christi, got a job at a local gym when he was three-years-old and that's where it all began.
"Me and my sister, she'd take us up there sometimes and we'd play around and she was like 'you know what, they look like they might like gymnastics.' So, she enrolled us in a couple classes and me and my sister were both really good. So, she was like 'alright, if you guys like it you can stay in it,' so we just did gymnastics for a long time," said Simpson.
"Tank" competed in gymnastics until he was about 12-years-old, but it started to take a toll on his body, which led him to focus more on other sports such as baseball. He believes his time doing flips has paid dividends on the diamond.
"I think the biggest thing it helped me with was my body control, my flexibility and just the overall balance and strength of my body," said Simpson. "In general, over the whole game of baseball, you know, the flexibility, the rotations, everything you gotta have for baseball, I think gymnastics is one of the biggest things that helped me develop all of those things."
Now 25-years-old, Simpson has starred for the Indians this season, hitting .385 with two home runs and 7 RBI. He's grinding his way up the minor league system with the hopes of playing in the big leagues.
He enjoys the game the same way he enjoyed time in the gym as a kid.
"I'm pretty care-free, so I show up to the ballpark and I show up to have fun, I show up to hit, I show up to play and I just try to have a good time doing it," said Simpson.
So, any chance we'll see a flip after hitting a home run?
"No, I would never do that," said Simpson with a chuckle. "That's too far. I've had plenty of people say 'hey, if you hit a homerun you should do a roundoff backflip on to home,' and I'm like 'no, no that's too far. I would never do that."