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Most Unique Individual Fan: Baltimore Orioles...Burke Badenhop on Grantland

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Burke Badenhop gives his take on some of the best & worst bullpens in MLB.

I've always wondered what this lady's deal was.

The most unique part of the visiting pen in Baltimore, however, is Stretch Lady, an Orioles fan who shows up to most games, sits in the section nearest the bullpens, and mimics the stretch routines that relievers go through as they warm up. She doesn?t do this to mock us, since she mimics both the Orioles and the visitors; she does it because she has to. She doesn?t care how many fans around her think she?s nuts; she has to stretch with the pitchers. As soon as someone starts doing some arm circles, Stretch Lady stands up and does some arm circles. She?ll bend over and touch her toes. She?ll do the arm-across-the-chest stretch. She?ll stretch out her forearms, hop up and down, and bend to the right and then the left.

Some players catch on and try to do the weirdest things possible just to see if Stretch Lady will do them too. When I was with Tampa in 2012, we had a guy make shadow puppets ? and then Stretch Lady made shadow puppets! I?m pretty sure I?ve even seen Stretch Lady adjust her (hopefully) imaginary cup before. I?m trying to learn a standing back flip just to see if Stretch Lady can do one. Whatever the reason behind her mania, Stretch Lady is a true treasure in the landscape of visiting-bullpen lore.


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