I saw a really neat vignette on SportsCenter a couple Sundays ago about some baseball players’ curious and unique batting stances over the years. It features interviews and demos with some retired baseball players, like Will Clark, Cal Ripken, Julio Franco, and Eric Davis, in addition to some active ones. It also features this guy who calls himself the Batting Stance Guy, who has a web page and a YouTube channel highlighting what he calls “the least marketable skill in America.” He’s pretty funny and pretty cool.
I like batting stances. I like paying attention to, recognizing, and imitating them. At least, I did when I was younger. Same with pitching deliveries. I guess the Batting Stance Guy never grew out of it, and I apparently haven’t completely grown out of it, based on my enjoyment of this SportsCenter segment. The difference is, he has turned it into a hobby that’s at least gotten him on ESPN a couple times. When I pitched for my baseball teams, I intentionally and unintentionally imitated many pitchers over the years: Tom Glavine, Jack Morris, David Cone, Pete Harnisch, Greg Maddux, Curt Schilling, and a couple of my teammates. I never imitated any batters that I know of, though. (Update: I should have said: I never imitated batters in real baseball games. I imitated many in the back yard or in the cul de sac, but not when I was hitting a real pitcher on a real baseball field or batting cage.)
This vignette is actually pretty funny. My favorite impersonations by the Batting Stance Guy are Derek Jeter, Will Clark, and Dave Winfield. The Winfield one is the last one filmed in his back yard, when he throws the bat into the bushes. I about cracked up when I saw that. Final note: Will Clark is one of the most bad-ass athletes of all time. I love Will Clark. One of my favorite players ever.