July 2009

Futures Game highlights top prospects

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       July 5, 2009: Infielder Wilmer Flores of the Savannah Sand Gnats signs an 
       autograph prior to a game against the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field at 
       the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
One of the things I love about the Futures Game is that I can look over the rosters and remember the players I’ve photographed who are now in the national spotlight. 
The most recent player in that category is Mets prospect Wilmer Flores, who was just in Greenville this past week. I took this photo just before Sunday’s game.
The 2009 Futures Game will be played this afternoon in St. Louis.
Some of my previous posts on today’s team members:

Pitcher Brock Huntzinger of the Drive

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       July 9, 2009: RHP Brock Huntzinger (24) of the Greenville Drive, No. 29 
       prospect of the Boston Red Sox, in a game against the Rome Braves at 
       Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/
       Four Seam Images
On a positive note, now I’m gonna try just posting a photo I like. I took it last night at my home park, Fluor Field. No controversy; just a nice shot of pitcher Brock Huntzinger.
I’m trying to forget about the Frenchy trade.
It isn’t working very well . . . but I’m giving it a shot.

A look at new Braves outfielder Ryan Church

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       17 March 2009: Outfielder Ryan Church of the New York Mets in a game 
       against the Atlanta Braves at the Braves’ Spring Training camp at Disney’s 
       Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Photo by: Tom Priddy/
       Four Seam Images
Braves announcer Joe Simpson tonight called the trade of Jeff Francoeur “a punch in the gut.” Add to that what my wife said: “Sometimes I hate this game.” That about sums it up for me, too.
In addition to my years of photographing Francoeur, I’ve photographed new Brave Ryan Church several times in the majors, too, including at Washington and here at Spring Training this year.

Oh, my gosh — Braves trade Francoeur

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I just found out that the Atlanta Braves have traded outfielder Jeff Francoeur, one of the team’s most popular players, to the New York Mets for Ryan Church.
Maybe I’ll have something else to say later . . . but, you know, I just can’t formulate anything right now . . .
This 2005 photo when he was with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans is the oldest one I could find on my current computer. I’d have to dig out some backup drives for anything older. I’ve photographed Jeff for many years, all the way back to Class A ball. The gallery of some of my favorite photos is listed below.

Manager Kevin Boles gets his 500th win

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       July 9, 2009: Manager Kevin Boles of the Greenville Drive recognizes the 
       applause of the crowd Thursday night as he receives a plaque for achieving 
       his 500th win as a manager at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, 
       S.C. The Drive got their boss the record with a 6-5 victory Wednesdy night 
       over the Rome Braves. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
Greenville Drive manager Kevin Boles won his 500th career game Wednesday night, and the team gave him a plaque honoring that achievement Thursday night.

It seems looks are deceiving in this blog

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       June 19, 2009: Shortstop Jorge De Leon (40) of the Lexington Legends 
       bobbles a ground ball for an error 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
Funny thing I just noticed about some of the photos I’ve posted recently: all the photos that looked like outs were not, and the one that looked like a hit was an out.
Same thing could be said about this photo. It appears that Jorge De Leon has a bead on this grounder — which he does — but he eventually bobbled it.
I know — big deal. Just an excuse to post this photo.

Switch-pitcher Venditte is promoted

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       May 30, 2009: Pitcher Pat Venditte (27), professional baseball’s only 
       ambidextrous pitcher, of the Charleston RiverDogs, Class A affiliate of 
       the New York Yankees, before a game against the Greenville Drive at 
       Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/
       Four Seam Images
Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte of the Charletson RiverDogs has been promoted to the Yankees’ advanced Class A team in Tampa.
That means I have an opportunity to run another photo of him, this time in a New York uniform.

Reynoso is SL Pitcher of the Week

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       17 March 2009: RHP Ryne Reynoso 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
Mississippi Braves starter Ryne Reynoso was named the Southern League’s Pitcher of the Week after going 2-0 and posting an ERA of 0.57 last week. 
The following is from the Southern League’s release:
“Reynoso was a workhorse for Mississippi last week, pitching a league-high 15.2 innings in two dominant victories. On June 23, Reynoso bested league wins leader Lucas Harrell by yielding just three hits in eight scoreless innings as the Braves downed Birmingham 6-1. 
“He was nearly as dominant in his next start, striking out six and allowing one earned run in seven and two-thirds innings in a 6-3 win over West Tenn on June 28. The consecutive victories have pushed Reynoso’s season record to 5-4, and the Bellevue, Id., native currently sports a 3.31 ERA, which ranks tenth in the league. 
“After a rocky start to the 2009 campaign, Reynoso has allowed more than three earned runs in just one of 10 starts since May 5.”

Sally League president Moss dies at 90

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       19 June 2007: John Henry Moss throws out the first pitch at the South 
       Atlantic League All-Star game in Rome, Ga., Tuesday, June 19, 2007.
Longtime South Atlantic League president John Henry Moss died today at age 90.
Moss was legendary, having started in professional baseball in 1947. He served as president of the South Atlantic League from its inception in 1959 through 2007.
I only photographed him once, in his final year as president when he threw out the first pitch in the Sally League All-Star Game in Rome.