'Handspring Hunter' high-flying from young age

'Handspring Hunter' high-flying from young age

Hunter Pence, OF, Giants
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas

With his father in the cattle business, young Hunter Pence moved throughout Texas a lot as a child. That just meant entertaining others -- and scaring his mother -- all over the state.

"He scared me more than any child," mom Gail says. 

She was watching Hunter on the backyard trampoline through the kitchen window one day when he yelled to her to watch what he had just taught himself. 

"He does a double front flip. That is the most dangerous thing you can possibly do," Gail says. "If you land wrong, you're dead. I couldn't even breathe. I ran out. 'Hunter, don't ever do that again!'" 

He also taught himself how to do a back flip with a full twist on the trampoline after watching his sister do it. 

He would occasionally do handsprings on his way out to play shortstop; there was a photo in a local newspaper of Hunter completely upside down in mid-flip with the headline "Handspring Hunter." The story said he wore number No. 8 because it looks the same right-side up and upside down. During pep rallies, cheerleaders got him to do back handsprings.

Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.