April 2009

Deviating from my normal pattern just a bit

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When I go to a ball game I generally photograph players and not plays. But you already know that, just by reading this blog. Stock photos of players is my specialty.
But occasionally, when I’ve gotten what I need of the players and have some time to spare, I love just fooling around and seeing what sort of action I can find.
The light generally goes bad about the fourth inning this time of year, so I have to work fast, but this is a little of what I got just having fun tonight.
April 30, 2009: Catcher Jean Luc Blaquiere of the Savannah Sand Gnats drops the ball, allowing Mitch Dening of the Greenville Drive to score in a game at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com and Four Seam Images   

Casey Kelly, No. 6 prospect, is a bright spot

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Casey Kelly is one of the Drive’s many bright spots this year. He is now 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA. Not too shabby.
He also happens to be the No. 6 prospect for the Boston Red Sox, the top prospect on the Drive’s roster.
April 28, 2009: RHP Casey Kelly (23) of the Greenville Drive, Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, in a game against the Savannah Sand Gnats at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Kelly picked up the win and stands 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com

Wilmer Flores is the Mets’ No. 2 prospect

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Infielder Wilmer Flores, 17, is the New York Mets’ No. 2 prospect. He is in Greenville this week to play a series against the Drive.
He’ll probably be in the majors in 2012, If you come out this week, maybe your memory will be good enough to remember seeing him here.
He’s so young he still has braces.
April 28, 2009: Infielder Wilmer Flores (4) of the Savannah Sand Gnats prior to a game against the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Flores is the No. 2 prospect of the New York Mets. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com

Sand Gnats starting pitcher Jeff Kaplan

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I don’t know any more about pitcher Jeff Kaplan of the Savannah Sand Gnats, who pitched Tuesday night in Greenville except what’s on the roster: 23 years old, drafted in the 11th round last year.
I just happen to like this photo.
April 28, 2009: RHP Jeff Kaplan (28) of the Savannah Sand Gnats, Class A affiliate of the New York Mets, in a game against the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com

Top Mets prospects playing at Fluor Field

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Over the years I’ve occasionally grabbed feature shots of routine minor league scenes — and then again sometimes I’ve just ignored them. This year I’ll probably be looking for them more often now that I have this blog to display them.
Also, MinorLeagueBaseball.com seems to be running more them, and I’m always looking to oblige the bosses.
So yesterday when I saw two of the Mets’ top prospects talking with a coach, I grabbed it. Quickly. They were gone in a flash.
April 28, 2009: Infield prospects Wilmer Flores, center, and Jefry Marte, right, of the Savannah Sand Gnats, Class A affiliate of the New York Mets, talk with roving instructor Kevin Morgan prior to a game against the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com

Sometimes you get the ball, sometimes it gets you

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When you’re photographing pitchers warming up at the top of an inning, getting the ball in the picture is one of the goals.
Most of the time.
The photo above is, um, sort of a bull’s eye. But not a good one.
Thank goodness the bottom one turned out better. 
April 9, 2009: RHP Alex Caldera (29) of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, in a game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
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Former Drive pitcher Bowden called up, sent back

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Former Greenville Drive pitcher Michael Bowden, one of the Boston Red Sox’s top prospects, pitched two scoreless innings Sunday for the big club in Boston. And then on Monday he was sent back to triple A.
When that happens it has to be a big ego blow, but stories from Boston indicate Bowden’s stock is very high in town, and he’ll back on the roster very soon.
Top: 29 June 2006: RHP Michael Bowden of the Greenville Drive, the Boston Red Sox affiliate of the Class A South Atlantic League, in a game against the Lexington Legends, a Houston Astros affiliate. Photo by Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
Bottom: 06 May 2006: RHP Michael Bowden of the Greenville Drive, the Boston Red Sox affiliate of the Class A South Atlantic League, in a game against the Rome Braves. Photo by Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
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Clemson’s Doug Hogan was back in the Upstate

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Former Clemson catcher Doug Hogan was in Greenville recently, now playing for the Hickory Crawdads, in a series against the Greenville Drive.
He’s one of a handful of former Clemson players who have come back through Fluor Field as professionals. It’s always good to see them.
The above photo shows him warming up the pitcher before a game, and the photo below — added here at no additional charge — shows Doug throwing out the first pitch at the Clemson 2009 opening day game.
Top: April 13, 2009: Catcher Doug Hogan (9) of the Hickory Crawdads, Class A Sally League affiliate of the Texas Rangers, prior to a game against the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Hogan played for the Clemson Tigers while in college. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
Bottom: Former Clemson player Doug Hogan throws out a first pitch prior to a game between the Charlotte 49ers and Clemson Tigers Feb. 20, 2009, at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
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Uh oh, are they coming to get me?

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Is this what it looks like when they discover me shooting from a place I shouldn’t be? Are they calling for security?
Nah, it’s just Greenville Drive manager Kevin Boles pointing out the ground rules last night. I’m safe.
For now.
April 28, 2009: Greenville Drive manager Kevin Boles, center, points out the ground rules prior to a game against the Savannah Sand Gnats at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. From left are umpire Randy Burgess, Boles, and umpire Jason Hutchings. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com

First baseman Anthony Rizzo of the Drive

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I can’t believe I haven’t posted this photo of Anthony Rizzo yet. Sure enough, I went back and checked the blog, and it’s nowhere to be found.
This photo of the Greenville Drive first baseman is one of my favorites so far this year. I don’t ask players to pose, so when I get a shot like this with a good smile and a clean background, it’s my equivalent of hitting a homer. 
I just don’t have anyone to high-five with . . .
So here’s that photo, with a few more of Rizzo thrown in just for good measure.
April 13, 2009: First baseman Anthony Rizzo (25) of the Greenville Drive on the team’s 2009 home opener against the Hickory Crawdads at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
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       Anthony Rizzo
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       Anthony Rizzo 
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       Anthony Rizzo