June 2010

Almost lost this image from the All-Star game

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Jonathan Villar (3), right, wipes the sweat from the face of north teammate Miguel Velazquez (50) during the home run derby at the 2010 South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Velazquez made it to the finals, but lost to Chris Dominguez. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
If digital photography hadn’t come along when it did our house would be filled with photographic prints. Well, okay, it’s still sort of crammed with prints, but you get my drift.
It could be worse.
As I write this my wife is sitting next to me, culling boxes of old prints from 10, 20 and 30 years ago. “We don’t really need three copies of each of the kids’ school pictures, do we?” she asked. My mind was saying “Heck, yeah we do” while my voice found a way to say, “Um, well I guess not, not really.”
She claims she’s actually going to throw away one of those piles next to her. I can’t tell which one. I probably don’t want to know. They all look the same.
Just last month I came across a treasure in a box of old photos from my mother. It was the third in a series of photo-booth photos of my dad and me a long time ago on one of our Saturday morning outings. 
I had found two of them years ago, but this one was a complete surprise to me. My dad loved those old black-and-white photo booths, and took photos of us from time to time. Time relegated them to oblivion. Now I have three photo-booth shots of my dad and me, identical poses, just a few years apart. 
With film, of course, you had to actually make a print to see what it looked like. Today I can take a photo with my cell phone and everybody in my family can have a copy without any paper trail.
But when you shoot as many digital images as I do these days, it’s far too easy in the crush of deadline to forget about one. And that brings me finally around to this photo. I grabbed it quickly during the 2010 South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday at Fluor Field in Greenville. I remember thinking at the time that it was a keeper. And that was the last thing I remember about it.
I came across it again a few days later when I was going back over the images from that night, looking to see what I missed in my haste. And there it was, and here it is.
And I don’t even have to agonize about throwing away a print of it in 30 years.

Sally League All-Star Game ends in 5-5- tie

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Garabez Rosa of the Delmarva Shorebirds applies the tag as Kody Hinze of the Lexington Legends tries to turn a single into a double at the 2010 South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
There I was, standing in the corner of the visitors’ dugout last night at the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, wondering why everyone on both teams suddenly was high-fiveing each other. 
The score was tied 5-5 after 10 innings, and I was missing my deadlines, hoping that something other than a strikeout or groundout would come along and break the tie. The pitchers were dominant in the late innings. I had some decent photos, but nothing that said “game winner,” so I waited, lurking in position for a nice walk-off celebration at the plate.
In my dreams. No game-winner, no jumping up and down. The game was called after 10 innings, and declared a tie. It was without a doubt the first time I’ve ever photographed a tie in baseball (except maybe T-ball).
Anyway, I thought there was no tieing in baseball . . .

Jake Arrieta finally called up, makes the best of it

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RHP Jake Arrieta (34) of the Frederick Keys, Carolina League affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, prior to a game against the Potomac Nationals on June 20, 2008, at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
Orioles pitching prospect Jake Arrieta picked up a win in his Major League debut last week against the Yankees.
Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com quoted Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel as saying: “We feel that he’s one of the big guys that we’ll be counting on in the future. “Why not bring him [up]? I know we’re going to throw him in the fire against these guys, but hey, we don’t get to pick who we play or who we face. It’s a challenge for him. We’ll see how he reacts.”
I never got a chance to photograph him in Greenville, but I did when he was in the Carolina League.

Mike Stanton gets off to a fast start for Marlins

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Outfielder Mike Stanton (20) of the Greensboro Grasshoppers, Class A affiliate of the Florida Marlins, in a game against the Greenville Drive on April 17, 2008, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
Mike Stanton, a top outfield prospect, made his Major League debut this week with the Marlins.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that Stanton went 3-for-5 with three singles “and looked like he belongs in the big leagues.”
The team saved the ball from his first hit and “I’ll give it to my dad and send it home,” Stanton told Frisaro. “He can do what he wants with it.”
He played for the Greensboro Grasshoppers when I took this photo.

Jose Tabata makes his Major League debut

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Jose Tabata of the Charleston River Dogs, a New York Yankees affiliate June 6. 2006, at West End Field in Greenville, S.C. Photo by Tom Priddy. 
Jose Tabata, formerly a Yankees farm hand, made his Major League debut with the Pirates this week.
Jeff Seidel of MLB.com reports that Tabata went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored in his first game before coming out in the eighth with a right hamstring cramp.
It’s been a while — but he played at Fluor Field when the River Dogs came to town in 2006.

Danny Duffy returns to the Royals organization

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LHP Danny Duffy (12) of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, in a game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on April 10, 2009, at BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
Royals pitching prospect Danny Duffy, who left Spring Training to return home, has reportedly returned to baseball.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that Duffy has reported to the Royals’ facilities in Arizona where the team is currently holding extended spring games.

Photo of the Day: Cabral promoted to Salem

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LHP Cesar Cabral (47) of the Greenville Drive, Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, at a game against the West Virginia Power May 2, 2010, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
Cesar Cabral has been promoted to High-A Salem from Low-A Greenville. Cabral was 2-0 with a 0.29 ERA (just one earned run in 31.1 innings), 35 strikeouts and 5 walks, seven walks and five saves with the Drive. 

In a perfect game, even the umps have to be perfect

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29 April 2005: RHP Armando Galarraga (40) of the Potomac Nationals, Class A Carolina League affiliate of the Washington Nationals, taken at Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge, Va. in a game against the Frederick Keys. Photo by Tom Priddy. 
Every baseball fan in the country now knows when a perfect game is about to be delivered. With Twitter, Facebook, mobile devices and 24-hour MLB.TV you can follow the action no matter where it occurs.
I heard the news and switched the channel just a few days ago to witness the final outs of Roy Halladay’s perfect game on the MLB channel, and did the same thing last night for Armando Galarraga’s perfecto — sort of.
And like every baseball fan in the country I felt sick to my stomach when the final out was not correctly called.
I was personally rooting for Armando last night because I photographed him in 2005 in Class A Carolina League ball. One of my photos from this series (above) was on his baseball card that year. 
I was proud of him when all he did was smile a pained grin when he saw the call. I have to admit I was not so controlled. 

Luke Murton is SAL offensive player of the week

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Infielder Luke Murton (34) of the Charleston RiverDogs hits balls off a tee during batting practice prior to a game against the Greenville Drive on May 27, 2010, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
Last week when I quietly walked over to the batting net where Luke Murton was hitting balls off a tee before a game, I was hoping I could fade into the background and not be noticed.
I almost never ask players to pose for a photo, so sometimes when I catch them by surprise they change what they’re doing and turn away. Murton, was intent, however, and never looked up.
I was just editing these photos when I found out that yesterday he was named the South Atlantic League offensive player of the week, leading the league in doubles and hitting a cool .500 for the week.
Here’s what Josh Jackson of MLB has to say about him: “Yankees ’09 draftee Luke Murton leads the league in doubles after rocketing five two-baggers this week, two of which came in Monday’s 3-for-3 performance. He hit safely in each of the six games he played in, totaling three hits to open a weekend series in Kannapolis on Saturday. In Sunday’s doubleheader, he continued to punish the Intimidators, going 3-for-7 with a homer, a double and two runs scored over the course of the day.”
Murton, Luke 4765(Priddy)575px.jpgInfielder Luke Murton (34) of the Charleston RiverDogs, Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees, in a game against the Greenville Drive on May 27, 2010, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com