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Batting Stance Guy: A Love Letter to Baseball Paperback – May 11, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439181136
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439181133
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,476,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gar Ryness (1973-still alive) is owner of the least marketable skill in America, blessed with the ability to comedically imitate most Major League Baseball hitters of past three decades. Ryness has worked in non-profit ever since graduating Syracuse University ('95). Contrary to conventional wisdom by YouTube commenters, Ryness can actually talk to women and has even been married since 1996. His professors and teachers will be surprised and in some cases frustrated that he has become a published author. Hooked into batting stances by the 1984 Oakland A's, he has written a book w/ neighbor Caleb Dewart that at best will make you laugh, and at worst, will make you think, "Dang, that crazy fool loves him some baseball." Either way, the reader wins.
Question: If neighbor Caleb doesn't ask Ryness to video Red Sox and throw it on YouTube, does he appear on Fox Sports Net, ESPN, Late Show w/ David Letterman, New York Times, MLB Network, USA Today, and his mother's prayer group journal? Probably not.
Growing up in rough Danville (cough), California, Ryness was the oldest of 4 siblings. Early on, was pegged as the least talented of the four. Sister Bevin an accomplished singer, sister Natalie, a storyboard artist for films, and brother Bryce on Broadway. The pinnacle of sibling insanity came on July 13, 2009 when both brothers strangely appeared on rival late night talk shows. Ryness appeared as a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman between Jonah Hill and Kelly Clarkson. The younger Bryce Ryness appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien in the cast of HAIR on Broadway. Both aired simultaneously with their parents not-armed with TiVo, Setting up the age old question, "When faced with both your sons appearing on late night talk shows, which one would you watch?"
Good news- they set up 2 old school VCRs to record both shows. Bad news- the boys' father already taped over Letterman with a random SF Giants game.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Very fun, engaging, well-designed and well-written.
Clary family
Get this book and remember when you loved something and how it made you a kid!
James Suth
Even if you aren't a baseball fan, you will appreciate this book!
Kyle Skatberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Matthew B. Rumbaugh on May 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just like the title says, this is a love letter to baseball. Using his 50 favorite batting stances as a framing device, Gar tells sweet stories from games, players, and parks he's encountered in his 30+ years of fandom. If you're looking for wonky data on players for your fantasy team, this isn't your book. If you love the game or more importantly, you love hearing someone explain why they love the game, this is for you. I guarantee you'll laugh. I'm pretty sure you'll tear up a time or two. I promise you won't want to put this down and will end up recommending for your baseball loving friends.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By N. Long on May 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
You know when you are at a ho hum gathering and you end up sitting next to someone who loves the same thing you do? And that moment you discover you both love that thing the party instantly becomes awesome and memorable? Even more so when that person turns out to be insightful, funny, self deprecating and enthusiastic and not a machismo, one upper story teller. For the baseball fan- this is that awesome conversation at that party. "A Love Letter To Baseball" is full of inside jokes that will make you laugh out loud and stories that will make you remember why you fell in love with the game. It's the kind of book that will make you lose time- you'll start with the intention of reading for 5 minutes and be surprised when two hours have passed. Get it and thank yourself for it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gregory J. Nyssen on June 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
(first off, let me say: this is not greg, this is his wife, hijacking his account.) we've watched the clips of BSG on youtube, and my husband laughed til he cried, because he loves baseball more than anyone i know. i knew he loved baseball when i married him; our road-trip honeymoon included visiting the ballparks in every city that we were in from the west coast to the east, but i didn't fully realize what "baseball-widowdom" would mean, (haha!) and 13 years later, i can confess i still don't get it, but i try to understand.
here's how it went: i saw this book at the bookstore, i walked over and read him the introduction... didn't even get past the 2nd paragraph with Gar name dropping his childhood pete rose and gary carter halloween costumes, and my husband is giggling incredulously, saying "Come'on, you're kiddin' me, NO ONE dressed up like gary carter" and i said "no. look, there's even pictures", so i show him. and i read on to the third paragraph, (where Gar talks about his baseball card drafts and line-up games as a kid,) and he is now laughing uncontrollably. in the bookstore. doubled over, with tears. because he knows all those names. NO ONE he knows knows all those names. by the time we get to the last paragraph, with ALL the names of the guys who didn't make the book, he's beside himself. needless to say, of course we bought the book. we've only gotten through the first few chapters, and they have not disappointed! but what i wanted to say was:

THANK YOU, Batting Stance Guy, for the laughter! and i look forward to more of it! :)
sincerely,
rachel, the nodding and smiling wife of one serious baseball fan.

(p.s. to the non-knowledgeable baseball folk--
i've actually begun reading this book myself, and in-between all the name references that i don't get, is a ton of funny writing and childhood stories that also makes me laugh. and my 12 year old son. really. this is one fun book!!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Benjamin on May 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have seen Gar do his batting stance impressions anywhere, you are probably thinking that the impressions are great, but how could a book about it be interesting? Well...I guarantee you that the book is totally engaging start to finish. If you love baseball (heck, if you have only been to one baseball game in your entire life) you will love this book. As a true testament to the power of this book, after reading through it just a bit, my wife finally found baseball marginally interesting where she had been previously bored to tears.

This is one of those books that you will pick up over and over again, and each time you do you will find a new humorous tidbit you missed before.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Glynn on May 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Batting Stance Guy has delivered exactly what the title of his book sets out to do - deliver a love letter to baseball. From the introduction, there is no mistaking that this book was written from a special place, which causes baseball fans to not only fall in love with the game all over again but actually fall in love with the writer's affection for the game as well. Engaging and endearing, Gar Ryness delivers a poignant and humorous compilation designed to indulge the 12-year old in all of us. You don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this book - just enjoy the ride.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Suth on May 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't think you can get a better look at the pop culture of the last 30 years of the U.S. than you can by reading this book. Oh yeah, it has baseball players in it too! Besides instanly taking me back to moments of fond baseball memories, I found my self laughing out loud a lot. Gar has the knack of quipping that hilarious thought by zipping if forward into your memory with an obscure reference you'd never put together and yet you know - he completely nailed it.
I want to go to a game with him! I was surprised how emotionally wistful I got reading this book. Why did I actually play with that Willie Mays 1000th hit ball I got at Candlestick and lose it? The Batting Stance Guy reminded me ... it is still a game and it's wonderful and fun. The untold story is even in the pictures. You don't get that many pictures of you and your Dad all over the map unless you shared the same love. You don't have to be a baseball fan to fully enjoy this wonderful look at growing up in the last 30 years. If he hasn't thrown you over his shoulder and carried you into fandom after just reading the forward, then your heart is made of stone. Or you're a Wockenfuss ... my new go to adjective. Get this book and remember when you loved something and how it made you a kid!
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