Meet me in St. Loo, Chone — and flip, Wizard style

I’ll be heading off to St. Louis for my third All-Star Game, and it’s something that means a lot to me. I’m so happy for the guys who are going for the first time, guys like Curtis Granderson, Edwin Jackson, Andrew Bailey, Tim Wakefield. I know what that feeling is like. I really hope Chone Figgins wins the Final Vote on and makes it, too, because he is deserving.

Chone is a guy who just loves the game of baseball, everything about it. Everybody knows Ozzie Smith was one of his favorite players, and Chone would love to go out on that field in St. Louis and do a back flip like Ozzie. I think the fans would go crazy watching that. This guy can do those back flips — I’ve seen him.

Maybe that will help him get the votes he needs to get on the team. I definitely want to see him there on the American League team, with Brian Fuentes and myself, because he’s having a great year.

He has become a Gold Glove third baseman, and he’s the guy who makes our team go. The last month and a half, he’s been carrying us — getting on base, scoring runs, making plays in the field. He could play anywhere on the field if they need him to. I’ve never seen anybody more versatile than Chone, or anybody who loves the game more and works at it any harder.

If he does win the vote, I hope his first All-Star Game is as memorable as mine. That would be pretty hard to match, I have to admit.

I was voted into the starting lineup in 2002 when I was with the Twins. The game was in Milwaukee, and when I went out to take the field, I was a little nervous, feeling the butterflies. Your first All-Star Game, that’s a thrill. You’re just trying to stay calm, stay in the moment.

As luck would have it, Barry Bonds gets up and hits a shot to center. I’m thinking it’s gone. But then as I’m going back, I’m thinking maybe I’ve got a shot at it. I saw the ball dying and jumped up with everything I had — and caught it. It was one of those moments you dream about. My first inning of my first All-Star Game, and I take a home run away from Barry Bonds, the greatest hitter I’ve ever seen with my two eyes.

Of course, Barry came out and picked me up and put me on his shoulders. That was a show. I’m 26 years old, and here’s this guy Barry Bonds carrying me on his shoulders in the All-Star Game.

We have a DVD of that game, that catch, and I’ll be playing it for my grandkids when I’m an old man. What’s funny about that is that, in a way, I made that game a tie and that caused all that controversy.

My second All-Star Game was in San Francisco in 2007. The best part of that was meeting Willie Mays when he was honored before the game. What’s so amazing about the All-Star Game is all the players you hang around with and the great stars you meet, people you’ve admired since you were a kid. It’s an exciting time, and I’m honored to be going back.

I just hope Chone Figgins comes with me. He’ll flip if he makes it, I promise you.


  1. angelsgirl012

    Figgy doing a flip?! I gotta keep on voting lol! I love Figgy to pieces and i’m voting like a maniac torii!

    Congrats on your 3rd all star appearance whoo hoo!

  2. rynexpress

    You’re a quality man, Torrii! I can’t make it to St. Loo but I hope my 50 votes help Chone along! šŸ™‚ All the Best and Thanks for the All-Star moments!


    Section 514 at Angel Stadium must have voted for you 2,000 times, and we will do the same for Figgy! Thanks for always making it fun for us – you are what this game is about!

  4. hurrayforangels

    Torii, you are an absolute inspiration and role model for the next generation. A real class act. You make amazing plays and have a God given talent to play baseball. Thanks for staying so late on the last photo day too…
    I have been absolutely in love with Chone Figgins for the past few years (not in a weird way – I just love the way he plays the game). And he seems like such an amazing guy. Always smiling, always seeming to be the nice guy. His attitude on the field has been nothing less than incredible. Plus, his talent is so clearly evident. It is hard for me to imagine he wasn’t voted for sooner.
    Anyway, thank you for writing this. I can’t wait to see him flip!
    -Samar P.

  5. wendy89

    i love the angels havent missed a game this season u guys make me so happy wen i see u guys play i have been to alot of ur home games and today im goin to see u guys play the rangers im so excited. i totally agree i think figgins deserves tht spot more than ne one. he is one of my fav players i love watching all u guys play its very much so exciting. =) go angels


    Thanks for showing so much support for Figgi Tori. You truly are a top notch player. You and your team are really bringing back the feelings of why i loved baseball so much when i was a kid. Both my wife and i have been voting as often as we can and we really wanna see Chone out there on the field with you and Brian at the all star game. By the way, we were at the game last night , that catch on the CF wall was truly truly amazing!!!!

  7. carmine

    Torii we will all be watching you and all of the amazing All Stars. Good Luck to you. Please be very careful. Come back to the Angels with out injury. You are an amazing ball player and we are all very proud of your accomplishments. You work very hard and deserve this tribute. Have a FUN trip!!


    Hey Torii! Been an Angel fan for 47 years & just wanted to say how much I appreciate you and Figgy. You 2 are my favorite players. I love players that come out there & play 110% every day. And you both so obviously LOVE the game of baseball. That’s what I look for in a ball player. What I really hate is a player that reminds me that it so often is about the money! We fans don’t like to be reminded about the business end of this game. That’s not what it’s about for us. We just love baseball and our team!
    I am so disappointed Chone didn’t get voted in. I voted 1500+ times & tried to get everyone I knew to vote. But we LOVE him & are so happy he’s on the Angels!! Also sorry about your injury. Please heal quick!! You were sorely missed last night!

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