January 2009

Freddie Freeman a non-roster invitee

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Braves prospect Freddie Freemanof the Rome Bravesis one of several minor leaguers invited to camp this week by the team.

I took this shot of Freddie during batting practice prior to a game against the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C.

Well, I have to do something . . .

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Well, I have to do something during the off-season.
When there’s no baseball to photograph I try to find something interesting to shoot, and this week it was the Eagles’ concert at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, S.C.
It was typical of big concert photography — shoot the first three songs from the sound board and then get out. Someone from the arena was with us the entire way to make sure we didn’t do anything unauthorized.

Braves’ Heyward in the minors’ Top 10

Heyward, Jason 2454 500px.jpgJason Heyward’s stock is rising fast. He’s among the Braves top prospects, and he’s in the Minor League Baseball Top 10, also.

He’s definitely in my own personal Top 10 players I like to photograph. He’s always smiling and genuinely seems to always be having fun playing baseball. His love of the game always rubs off on me and I have a better day at the park.

Here’s a photo of him during batting practice May 9, 2008, in Greenville, S.C. when he was with the Rome Braves.

Braves rearranging their minors pitching coaches

Botelho, Derek 8742 500px.jpgI love watching pitching coaches do their thing, and I particularly like the guys in the Atlanta organization. Derek Botelho is a hands-on coach, and I have several photos of him instructing young pitchers when he was with the Mississippi Braves.

He’s going to bemoving up to serve as Triple-A Gwinnett’s pitching coach in 2009, and I should have a chance to photograph him again this year.
HereBotelho, left, instructs RHP Michael Nix of the Mississippi Braves, prior to a game on April 9, 2008.

Gabe Kapler and the Rays reach an agreement

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It’s good to hear that Gabe Kapler has been signed to play for the Tampa Bay Rays this year. Kapler and the Rays agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract. Kapler was the hardest-working manager in the Sally League two years ago when he briefly stepped away from the majors to manage the Greenville Drive.
This is my favorite photo of Kapler, taken July 23, 2007. It was hard to photograph him because he never stayed in one place very long. After I clicked the shutter on this one, he was gone again.

Sox think highly of former Brave Tyler Flowers

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Some players are easy to photograph. Elvis Andrus, Andy Marte, Jeff Francoeur, Brian McCann, Jason Heyward come to mind. I love those guys. Always smiling, always animated. Always easy to shoot. My favorite photos of these guys would fill a book.
Some guys are more of a challenge. I don’t always know why. Sometimes I just haven’t found the right touch with some guys, I guess. It’s not their fault; just mine.
I don’t have a single photo of Tyler Flowers that I like, and now that he’s with the White Sox organization I might not get another chance any time soon. However, I’m happy for him because the Sox organization thinks highly of his abilities and has plans for him. Atlanta let him go in the Javier Vasquez trade.
Here’s one shot I took on July 11, 2008, that’s okay, but I could have done better.

Please pardon one more tip of the cap

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I’m going to be throwing a lot of stuff up against the wall here to see what sticks in the next few days, as I introduce this blog and hope for some reaction. And it occurred to me as I was driving to work today that the “more than a decade” taking baseball photos in my bio suddenly doesn’t seem like much time. So I went back and looked for one of my first baseball photos for some perspective, and here it is.
This is from a color transparency I shot with my dad’s camera at a game he took me to at Yankee Stadium (the real one) in 1965.
I’ve tipped my cap once in this blog already, to the baseball photographers who came before me. Let me take a minute to now tip my cap to my dad, who never sat me down and said, “Here’s how to take pictures,” but nevertheless taught me all the key things I needed to know.

Phillip Wellman to return as M-Braves manager

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The Mississippi Braves have announced that Phillip Wellman, who guided the team to the Southern League championship in 2008, will return in ’09 as manager. This is my favorite 2008 photo of Wellman, who is always accommodating and hospitable during my visits to Pearl, Miss. I took this photo April 12, 2008, when I was there to shoot the team’s baseball card and promotional photos.

Madison Bumgarner working his way up

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Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants organization is No. 6 on the top prospects list at MinorLeagueBaseball.com. He’s also theGiants’ No. 1 prospect, according to the latest off-season charts. I had the good fortune to be at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C., last summer and got this image of him warming up in the bullpen before the June 5 game.

Welcome to the new photo blog

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On the occasion of publishing a new baseball photo blog, I begin with a tip of my cap to the photographers who came before me and left us a grand legacy. This is one of the many photos made available in the public domain by the Library of Congress. Welcome to the new blog. I hope I can do these photographers justice.