Chat Wrap: Ryan Garko

June 11, 2001

Ryan Garko: Hi, this is Ryan. I'm ready to start taking your questions.

Ed (Carlsbad, CA): Coach Marquess mentioned that this is the youngest Stanford squad to ever make it to Omaha....are you surprised at how well this young team has handled itself in the postseason? What do you attribute the success to?

Ryan Garko: Those of us that came to Omaha last year have already experienced the post-season and making it this far. We have some leadership with the juniors on the team. I attribute the success to a lot of different guys stepping up in big spots and playing as a team throughout the post-season.

Topsham Maine: What's it like to play for one of the best college baseball coaches in history? (from Steve, formerly lived in the bay area)

Ryan Garko: Coach is a great coach and a good person. Playing in this program has been a great experience and I have to attribute a lot of my personal success t coach Marquess. When I was struggling early in the year he was the guy to come out early and hit extra with me and help me get through some things with my swing. Not too many head coaches with his resume would do that.

Michael (Walnut): How's it feel to be in the spotlight? College baseball is different from the other sports (basketball and of course football) where they are in the spotlight so much.

Ryan Garko: It is a lot of fun to be in the national spotlight. The city of Omaha really does a nice job of hosting this event. Getting all of the attention we are receiving this week makes the game even more fun and all of the hard work even more worthwhile.

Amanda (Palo Alto, CA): Hey Ry!!!! It has been amazing watching you onTV...sometimes when I watch you, I am reminded of a young Jose Canseco or MikePiazza, perhaps. Do you model yourself after any player in particular? What doesit feel like to hit a bomb on national TV? Talk to you soon...

Ryan Garko: A lot of people have told me I remind them of a young Jose Canseco and he is a great ball player but I have a long way to go until I swing the bat the way he does.It was fun to come up in a big spot last and come through by hitting the ball a long way.

Longhorn fanatic: What is your favorite collegiate moment as a Stanford Cardinal?

Ryan Garko:I've had a lot of great moments these past few weeks but I'd have to say thatcatching the first pitch from President Bush and the homerun against Fullertonhave been my two favorite moments so far. Also, having my parents here to watchthe past two games has been special since they don't make it to a lot of gamesbecause they are busy putting my brother sister and I through college.

Brian(NH): How does it fell being a team mate of Sam Fuld

Ryan Garko: Sam is a great ball player and has really developed into a good hitter this year. With him hitting in front of me I get to come up with a runner on base often. Sam is also a good guy off the field and a good friend.

Deuceman (Palo Alto): That was a bomb you hit last night. Wow! You're really strong. Just one question: who can eat more - you or Mike 'Fat Boy' Gosling?

Ryan Garko: Thanks Duece, I think Jeff Bruksch could probably take us both in an eating contest. That guy can eat with anybody.

Elaine Yorba Linda: Hi Ry! What part of your game do you work on the most and what is the most challenging aspect of the game for you?

Ryan Garko:I spend the most time hitting, trying to spend as much time as possible in thecages as I can. I think I have worked the hardest to become a good catcher andto work with our pitching staff and do a good job of receiving and throwing.

Luke (West Des Moines, IA): Against Tulane your club came back from down 8-0 what was said in the dugout to inspire the team to claw it's way back to a victory

Ryan Garko: We knew we were going to have to dig down deep to come back and Coach Marquess did a great job of having us take pitching, drawing some walks, and executing to get back into the game. In the end we just came up with the clutch hitting that it takes to win those types of games.

Geoff (TX): How nervous do you get when CWS games are close like the one with Cal St. Fullerton?

Ryan Garko:I don't think I really get nervous but the pressure definitely starts to buildin towards the end of a close ball game. I guess the key is to not try to do toomuch and just continue to play the game the way it should be played.

aj(Midwest city,OK): what's your pop time and what do u do to try and makeit quicker

Ryan Garko:I don't know exactly what my pop time is, probably around 1.95 to 2.05. To makeit quicker we usually work on exchanging the ball from the glove as quick as possibleand releasing it quickly as well I don't really try to throw the ball as hardas I can I find that trying to be quick is better than max effort on the throw.

San Antonio: Ryan, love your game. Quick technical question on catching. Is your first step (when throwing down to 2B) a drop step back with your right foot, or a jab step forward?

Ryan Garko: I think that both ways can work depending on the type of catcher. I like to try to use the drop step with my right foot to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible.

Buddy (Kennett Square, PA): what length bat do you use? and did you play legion ball?

Ryan Garko: I use a 34 inch 31oz. bat

yuna (Dallas): how do you spend your time outside of baseball?

Ryan Garko:Baseball takes up a lot of time but in my free time at school am either studyingor going to Chili's with Amanda.

Linds&Erin (Stanford, CA): We love you Ryan! Congratulations on all your success! Do you have any superstitions or rituals that you do before games??

Ryan Garko:Hi girls, I really don't have any superstitions that I do before every game butI like to wear my uniform the same way every day. I tried changing it once thissummer and had the worst game of my life.

Damon (OR): Ryan, Playing in the Pac10, I am sure you have had some AB's against Prior (USC). How good is he, and have you ever taken him yard??

Ryan Garko: Mark Prior is a great college pitcher, the best in the nation. I hit a single off of him but he struck me out. Facing a guy like that is a challenge but is also a lot of fun.

Linds&Erin (Stanford, CA): Is it true you are a notre dame football fan?

Ryan Garko: It is true. I grew up loving the Irish and my brother went to school there. I can't wait for next season to start they are coming to Lincoln to play Nebraska and I wish Julius Jones and the Irish the best of luck.

Palo Alto: Ryan: Congratulations on one heck of a CWS so far! You are awarrior. How do you spend your time between games (i.e. off until Wednesday)?

Ryan Garko: We will practice both days and then just relax and wait for our time to play. Most of us are finished with finals now so we are able to relax a little bit and have more down time.

Duncan7 (Athens, GA): I noticed just about everyone squared to bunt at some point last night. Is Coach Marquess taking the bat out of your hands at that point?

Would he have you bunt to break up a no-hitter? :-)

Ryan Garko:We don't play for the home run like the other teams here do and we hope to stayaway from the high scoring games that are taking place this year. The way we canpitch and play defense we try to play manufacture runs in games like the one lastnight. Coach Marquess rarely takes the bat out of our hands unless it is a bigspot where we need a run.

Palo Alto: Ryan:Bring it home for us. GO CARDINAL!Are you keeping a diary? What did the President say to you and did he really keep the ball?

Ryan Garko: The President said we work well together and shook my hand and did take the ball. It was an honor and he is such a good person, the type that anyone would fee comfortable approaching. It looks like my time is up, thank you for all of your questions and to our fans thank you for your support all year and I hope you'll be watching on Wednesday. Go Cardinal.

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