May 2009

Smoltz pitches a rehab assignment in Greenville

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You know, there’s a lot I should write about from today’s John Smoltz rehab assignment in Greenville with the Drive.
But I’m just too dog tired from shooting three games in four days. I just wanna go to bed now. Maybe I’ll write more later.
Anyway, here are a few photos.
May 31, 2009: John Smoltz (29) of the Boston Red Sox pitched a rehab assignment for the Greenville Drive, Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, in a game against the Charleston RiverDogs at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
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       These are Smoltz’s red socks. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

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       Smoltz talks to the press after coming out of the game. Photo by: 
       Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images


This looks like an old-time baseball shot

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This was really more of an accident than anything else, so I won’t take any credit for it.
I looked at this shot immediately after I took it Thursday night and really liked it. I’ve seen several old baseball photos with the catcher and batter both looking up, and this one just seems to be following that legacy.
I can look at this image and see years gone by.
May 28, 2009: Catcher Chase Weems of the Charleston RiverDogs and batter Anthony Rizzo of the Greenville Drive follow the flight of the ball in a game at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

Orioles’ top prospect gets the callup tonight

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Matt Wieters gets the callup today and will make his Major League debut for the Orioles tonight.
Wieters has been a big deal since day one, and scouts and writers have been predicting great things for the fifth overall selection in the 2007 draft. Last year he was Minor League Player of the Year, according to Baseball America.
I’ve photographed him twice, and although both times I was satisfied with what I got, I was disappointed that almost nothing was published. I guess part of it is that every Minor League photographer was on high alert when Wieters was playing. With somebody like this in the ballpark, you tend to ignore everyone else when he’s on the field.
Additionally, not soon after I photographed him in Class A with the Frederick Keys last year, he was promoted to Double-A and the old-uniform photos became obsolete. It happens. But I liked this photo, which as far as I know was never published. I just love the MW on his batting glove. He was already thinking big time.
June 21, 2008: Catcher Matt Wieters (32) of the Frederick Keys, Carolina League affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, prior to a game against the Potomac Nationals at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

Rome infielder Rodriguez hits for the cycle

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Gerry Rodriguez, 21-year-old first baseman for the Rome Braves, hit for the cycle yesterday in a game against the Greenville Drive.
Not only that, but his final at-bat was a walk-off homer in the 10th inning.
Rodriguez is the third batter to hit for the cycle in the minors this year.
May 15, 2009: Infielder Gerry Rodriguez (43) of the Rome Braves during a game against the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

Pelicans’ Sullivan throws complete-game shutout

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I’m no expert, but I’m guessing it’s not every year that you find a baseball draft pick out of the Savannah College of Art and Design, but that’s where the Braves got Richard Sullivan last year.
That chance is paying off now as the former illustration major pitched a complete-game shutout today.
Now with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Sullivan, 22, is 2-1 in high Class A. He gave up three hits and two walks while striking out nine to pick up the win in a 6-1 victory over Winston-Salem.
I’ve had a total of about 90 seconds to photograph Sullivan this year, but I managed to get a few shots, including this one, at Spring Training.
I had worse luck during the regular season. I photographed Myrtle Beach this year before he arrived, and Rome after he left. Sometimes it just works out that way. If you’re doing well you can move up quickly. He was 4-1 in low Class A Rome before the promotion.
17 March 2009: LHP Richard Sullivan of the Atlanta Braves at Spring Training camp at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

Berken picks up his first Major League win

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Former Clemson pitcher Jason Berken allowed a run in each of the first two innings of his Major League debut last night, but managed to get his first win.
After throwing five innings he sat in the dugout and watched his teammates take the lead in the bottom of the fifth.
(I finally found some old photos of Berken from his Clemson days in my backup archive at home last night. Here’s one of them.)
17 February 2006:  Jason Berken pitches in the opening series between James Madison University and Clemson University at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson, S.C. (Photo by Tom Priddy)

Former Clemson pitcher Berken making MLB debut

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Former Clemson pitcher Jason Berken will make his Major League debut for the Baltimore Orioles tonight in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Berken, a sixth-round pick from the Tigers, will be subbing in the rotation for recently released veteran Adam Eaton. 
Berken started the year at Class AA Bowie and after two starts was promoted to Triple-A Norfolk, where he was 2-0 with a 1.05 ERA.
I took this photo of Berken when he was in Class A Frederick a couple of years ago. News of Berken’s callup caught me by surprise, and all my Clemson photos of him must be locked away in my home archive. I can’t put my finger on any of them right now.
25 June 2007: Former Clemson pitcher Jason Berken of the Frederick Keys, Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, vs. the Potomac Nationals at Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge, Va. 

Kelly’s string makes him pitcher of the day

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The Greenville Drive’s Casey Kelly was named Prospect Pitcher of the Day by Baseball America after the 19-year-old righty gave up just one hit over six scoreless innings to pick up another win on Monday afternoon.
A first-round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2008, now rated as the club’s No. 6 prospect, Kelly improved to 6-1 while lowering his ERA to a league-leading 1.12.
I’ve photographed him only once this year, but hope to see him again this week when the team comes back home.
April 28, 2009: RHP Casey Kelly (23) of the Greenville Drive, No. 6 prospect 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 stood 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

Braeden Schlehuber is Atlanta’s No. 18 prospect

Catching last weekend for the Rome Braves in a series against Greenville was the Atlanta No, 18 prospect, Braeden Schlehuber.
May 15, 2009: Catcher Braeden Schlehuber (23) of the Rome Braves, the No. 18 prospect of the Atlanta Braves, in a game against the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

No. 14 prospect DeVall gets a win in Greenville

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No. 14 Atlanta prospect Brett DeVall pitched against Greenville last Monday in half of a doubleheader. He pitched five innings, allowed no runs and now has a 2.89 ERA and a 2-1 record.
May 18, 2009: LHP Brett DeVall (53) of the Rome Braves, the No. 14 prospect of the Atlanta Braves, in a game against the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images