By Eric Neel
Page 2

Thanks for the incredibly enthusiastic response to last week's column on batting stances.

Here's a list of players many of you feel belong on the all-time cool stance list:

Don Mattingly, Dwight Evans, Mickey Tettleton, Jim Leyritz, John Wockenfuss, Rocky Colavito, Andre Dawson, Oscar Gamble, Dick McAuliffe, Carl Yastzremski, Eric Davis, Will Clark, John Kruk, Mike Schmidt, Willie McGee, Albert Belle, Phil Plantier, Mike Hargrove, Jose Oquendo, Carney Lansford, Tim Tuefel, Ernie Banks, Ken Griffey Jr.

And here's some of what you had to say:

Dwight Evans. He starts off all pigeon-toed, then begins tapping and twisting the front foot. Funnier than Evans' actual stance was the overexaggerated copycatting by me and my brothers -- Dave, Fort Myers, Fla.

Mickey Tettleton. He stood straight up, the bat held limply backwards at his waist. He looked bored and wimpy. Then the pitch came, and he tightened up, and that bat would just explode through the ball. -- Ben, Boston

Jose Oquendo. The way he squatted at the plate with knees low and far apart. It was impossible to notice the battery or anything else but his goofiness. -- Bill, Tokyo

Willie McGee. Came up to bat looking like he was in so much pain. Knock-kneed and pigeon-toed, but could slap-hit and run like the wind. -- Ty, Playa Vista, Calif.

Rocky Calovito. It wasn't just the stance, but the whole ritual. Before entering the box, he would place the bat behind his neck and across his shoulders and do a stretch. Then as he took the bat from behind his neck he would cock his neck from side to side. When he began his practice swings he paused longer than usual to point his bat directly at the pitcher and then slowly moved the bat to his final cocked position just above the shoulder level. -- Rob, Germantown, Tenn.

Andre Dawson had the best stance ever. He had his front leg pointing straight at the plate with his back leg bent like he was ready to run the 100-meter dash. -- Walt, Louisville

Carney Lansford. Head poking out like a grizzled turtle, his whole body twitching like he was anxious to get the seeing-eye single over with. -- Graham, Carlsbad, Calif.

John Wockenfuss. He used to do a little finger-flapping that made him look like he was playing a flute. -- Sam, Ekaterinburg, Russia

Cal Ripken Jr. Batting stance #1, 3, 5 through 8 and of course #17. -- Luis, Phoenix

Don Mattingly. He of the narrowed closed crouch and the coil. -- Mike, Boston

Ty Cobb. His crouched stance, with its small strike zone and hands choked up (while spread apart up to 6 inches), with his bat held perpendicular to his spine, like a hockey stick fouling away everything until getting the pitch he wanted. -- Jonathan, Somers, N.Y.

Dick McAuliffe. Extreme backward lean. Lifted his foot like Mel Ott. Moved his bat faster than Joe Morgan pumped his chicken wing. -- Neil, Brecksville, Ohio

Mickey Tettleton. It was as if he couldn't lift his arms anymore from those years behind plate, so he placed his bat on an imaginary table behind him, waiting patiently for the pitch. -- Mike, Hawthorne, N.J.

Ron Cey. Only man in baseball who could stick his ass out and make it resemble the front end of a '74 Pontiac. -- Brian, Austin, Texas

Will Clark. The Thrill, with his high front elbow, hiding his face like a cape, bat waggling behind his head, poised to be unleashed after the slight forward lean, saying "I'm a Masher!" -- Clark, Cleveland

Mike Hargrove. The Human Rain Delay. During a time in Indians history where we prayed that the games would be rained out, he would wind up fouling off about 10 pitches, making his at-bat a painful, miserable, never-ending cycle of adjusting his helmet, gloves, cup, socks, shoes, bat, and then ... rinse and repeat. -- LJ, Cleveland

Ernie Banks. His fingers would be playing the bat handle like a piano waiting for the pitch. -- John, Palo Alto, Calif.

Craig Counsell. Just two nights ago, my girlfriend was surprised to see the pitcher throw the pitch while Counsell was "stretching." -- Tom Bundy, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Harmon Killebrew. He would stand there with his bat on his shoulder and stare out at the pitcher, daring him to throw one across the plate. Then, while the pitcher was in his windup he would squint, push his bat out with those big arms and then swing with one of the mightiest swings ever to play the game. -- Tom, Grout-Elbow Lake, Minn.

Eddie Murray (left-handed). Cool 'fro, menacing beard and moustache, bat waggle, than he would spring out of that little crouch and crush balls. -- Rhondoturk, Baltimore

Tim Teufel and his Teufel Shuffle. Standing in from the right side, hips swinging like he's doing the hula. -- Dan, Cliffside Park, N.J.

"Disco" Dan Ford. His stance was so closed the pitcher could read his full name and #15 on his back. -- JT, Baltimore

Carl Yastrzemski. He looked like the leaning tower of Pizza. -- Rick

Jose Cruz Sr. He held his arms straight up in the air like he was about to pound a rail spike into the ground with his bat. -- Jeff, Des Moines, Iowa

Mickey Rivers. Acting as if the batter's box was really a bed of hot coals. More lower body movement than an Irish Step dancer. -- Scott McCluskey, Morristown, N.Y.

Tito Fuentes. Had this ultra cool move where he would bounce the bat off the ground so it landed back in his hands. -- Lloyd, North Andover, Mass.

Albert Pujols. An incredibly athletic, powerful batting stance, rivaling anyone in modern times. He looks like a coiled viper waiting to strike. -- Jeremiah, Tempe, Ariz.

Oscar Gamble. Hunched over as if he couldn't bear the weight of the giant 'fro on his head. -- Syam, Boston




Eric_Neel
Eric
Neel
ON BASEBALL