June 2009

Heyward is Atlanta’s lone prospect at Futures

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       April 10, 2009: Outfielder Jason Heyward (34) of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 
       Class A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, before a game against the Wilmington 
       Blue Rocks at BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Photo by:  Tom 
       Priddy/Four Seam Images
Myrtle Beach Pelicans outfielder Jason Heyward is one of 25 Minor Leaguers, and the only Atlanta prospect, who will represent the United States in the 11th annual XM All-Star Futures Game July 12. 
The Pelicans’ news release says it best: “Heyward, 19, has spent all season with the Pelicans, seeing action in 41 games this year. The outfielder is batting .288 with nine home runs and 23 runs batted in for Myrtle Beach.  Heyward was named Carolina League Player of the Week for May 11-17, having batted .319 (6-for-19) with three home runs, five runs batted in, five walks and just one strikeout over that span. He was named to the Carolina League All-Star Team as well, one of only two Pelicans, along with fellow outfielder Cody Johnson, to receive the honor.”
They didn’t say anything about how photogenic he is — so I’ll throw that in here at the end. I love taking his photo. Who wouldn’t?

It’s another honor for pitcher Casey Kelly

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       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
Pitcher Casey Kelly, who dominated the competition this year with the Greenville Drive, was given another career boost by being named to the Futures Game.
Kelly is the only Boston Red Sox prospect selected to play in the game, which highlights some of the Minor League’s most promising players. Casey will play for the U.S. team on All-Star Sunday, July 12 in St. Louis.
While with Greenville he posted a 6-1 record with league-leading 1.12 ERA. He was later promoted to Salem and was named a South Atlantic League All-Star. 

Rays prospect Kang selected for Futures Game

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       June 14, 2009: Outfielder Kyeong Kang of the Bowling Green Hot Rods, 
       Class A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, in a game against the Greenville 
       Drive at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Kang has been 
       selected to play in the 2009 Futures Game. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four 
       Seam Images
Tampa Bay outfield prospect Kyeong Kang has been named to the World Team for the  2009 XM All-Star Futures Game to be held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on All-Star Sunday, July 12.
Kang is one of a handful of Futures Game stars to play recently at Greenville’s Fluor Field. I took this photo of him just a couple of weeks ago as he played for the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

Aw, come on blue, I was safe . . . awwwww

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       June 19, 2009: Anthony Rizzo (25) of the Greenville Drive appeals 
       unsuccessfully to umpire Jacob Danielson after sliding past third trying 
       to stretch a double into a triple and being tagged out by Lexington 
       Legends third baseman Ebert Rosario (13) at Fluor Field at the West End 
       in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
Ironically, I got a couple of action shots Saturday night while I was waiting for the Greenville Drive to wrap up their division title and start celebrating. I wasn’t really looking for them; they just fell into my lap. Sometimes it just happens.
I arrived at the park about 9:25 p.m., choosing to skip most of the game and just try for some reaction when they clinched the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League first-half title — which they eventually did.
But while I was waiting, Anthony Rizzo hit a huge shot into the outfield and cruised past second, heading for a triple. He made it, but slid past the base and was tagged out while reaching back. 
I got a few shots of the action, but decided this two-panel combo told the story best — the appeal and the dejection.
Sadly, it’ll be the last time I photograph Rizzo this year, as he will be called up to Salem later this week.

Who do you think the scoreboard guy is calling?

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       June 19, 2009: The scoreboard operator behind the Green Monster makes 
       a call on his cell phone between innings of a Greenville Drive game at 
       Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/
       Four Seam Images
So, if you were the scoreboard operator at Fluor Field on a Friday night who would you be calling on your cellphone in between innings . . . and what would you say?

This is what the celebration looked like

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       June 20, 2009: Greenville Drive players celebrate winning the first half 
       Southern Division title for the South Atlantic League Saturday night 
       with a 15-3 win over the Lexington Legends at Fluor Field at the West 
       End in Greenville, S.C. Drive players were wearing Greenville Mill 
       League throwback jerseys that were being auctioned off after the 
       game. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images



Looks like a catch, but it really wasn’t

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       June 20, 2009: Lexington Legends catcher Reinaldo Pestana (23) watches 
       a foul popup bounce out of his glove 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

Drive take the Sally title with 15-3 win

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       June 20, 2009: Ryan Lavarnway (33), left, congratulates Zach Gentile (7) 
       after both Greenville Drive players scored during a game that clinched 
       the first half Southern Division title for the South Atlantic League. The 
       Drive took the title with a 15-3 win over the Lexington Legends at Fluor 
       Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Drive players were wearing 
       Greenville Mill League throwback jerseys that were being auctioned 
       off after the game. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

Greenville Drive win first half Sally League title

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       June 20, 2009: Greenville Drive manager Kevin Boles (19) gets doused 
       with a water bucket bath by his players after they won the first half Southern 
       Division title for the South Atlantic League Saturday night with a 15-3 win 
       over the Lexington Legends at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, 
       S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

As the light stretches on into the evening . . .

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       June 19, 2009: LHP reliever Armando Zerpa (12) of the Greenville Drive, 
       Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, in a game against the Lexington 
       Legends at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom 
       Priddy/Four Seam Images
This time of year, as daylight stretches later into the evenings, it’s starting to remain light late enough to get some decent photos of the relievers.
Armando Zerpa of the Greenville Drive is one reliever that has been tough to shoot so far this year because he enters the games when its already gone to oh-dark-30. Until tonight. Welcome to summer.
When Zerpa came in to relieve starter Brock Huntzinger tonight I was able to shoot this photo at an ISO of 2000 on the D300 and still get a decent image.