If you're not familiar with Gar Ryness by name, you're probably at least familiar with his work. The YouTube sensation, better know as Batting Stance Guy, has created a niche with his spot-on mimicry of the batting stances of major leaguers past and present.
Go ahead and admit it - you wished you'd have thought of it first, especially since you probably did the same thing as you were growing up in the pre-YouTube (and Internet, computer and pretty much all technology) days. Whether you mimed Gus Triandos in Taneytown, Frank Robinson in Randallstown, Chico Salmon in Salisbury, John Lowenstein in LInthicum or Eddie Murray in Manchester, there's something beautiful about a young baseball fan trying to imitate his or her favorite player's approach, set-up and swing.
Ryness is also a master of the art of self-deprecating humor, calling his calling "the least marketable skill in America." Hardly. Judging by the number of newspaper and Internet stories on his art, his TV appearances and the way major leaguers flock to him when he appears in a ballpark, he's merely following's the sage advice of many moms: "Make the best out of what you have."
BSG - all those important types are reduced to three-letter monikers - took a crack at Orioles of today and yesteryear in this YouTube video (if you want to check out more of his work, and you have a few days to spare, just punch in "batting stance guy" into the YouTube search box and prepare to be amazed). His ability to hone in on each player's unique quirks, and exaggerate them to just the right level, is downright uncanny.
I really like his B.J. Surhoff takeoff, which incorporates the hangdog facial expressions Surhoff toted to the plate along with his lumber. BSG has Gary Roenicke's rigidity and Brady Anderson's sleeve tug down pat. And when he gets to Cal Ripken Jr., well, I won't spoil the ending of this clip (suffice it to say he could do an entire month's worth of clips on the Iron Man's ever-changing stance).
This will be the last Monday Memory of the regular season, and I hope you've enjoyed our visits to the Orioles' storied past. We'll be back from time to time this offseason, between news of trades and free agent signings, and are are already planning some fun for the 2012 campaign. If you've got a favorite O's memory you'd like to see on our site, leave a message in the comments section and we'll do our best.