Results tagged ‘ Appalachian League ’

Throwback Thursday: Craig Kimbrel in Danville

MiLB - Danville Braves

Pitcher Craig Kimbrel of the Danville Braves, rookie Appalachian League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, works a pitchers’ drill prior to a game against the Burlington Royals on June 19, 2008, at Dan Daniel Memorial Park in Danville, Va. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Cards’ Gillung recognized for postseason work

Pitcher Nick Gillung (40) of the Johnson City Cardinals, Appalachian League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, in a game against the Danville Braves on August 19, 2011, at Howard Johnson Field in Johnson City, Tennessee. Danville defeated Johnson City, 5-4, in 16 innings. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Pitcher Nick Gillung of the Johnson City Cardinals has been recognized by MiLB for his work in the 2011 Appalachian League playoffs.

In an article on entitled: “Pitchers of the Postseason” by John Parker, here’s what he had to say about Gillung:

“Gillung, the Cardinals’ 19th-round pick in this year’s Draft, had only two starts among his 12 outings for Johnson City in the regular season and did not appear until its fifth playoff game. The 22-year-old southpaw made the most of his lone postseason opportunity, allowing one run on one hit over six innings as Johnson City completed a two-game sweep of Bluefield for its second consecutive Appy League championship. Gillung fanned six and walked a pair and combined with reliever Logan Billbrough (who fired three perfect innings) on the one-hit clincher.”

A successful first-ever calendar project

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Now that we have grandchildren, one of the best Christmas gifts we get each year is the Shutterfly calendar with the kids’ photos. They always turn out beautifully. They go up in our kitchen where we see them every day.
So when Shutterfly offered me a free calendar last week I decided to try my hand at a baseball-only calendar entirely with my photos from last year. And . . . I love it. The printing quality is terrific.
Now, if I could just find a business partner and get a great deal on a bulk purchase from Shutterfly . . .

The saga of the long-shot baseball card

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Pitcher Mike Foltynewicz of the Greeneville Astros works out prior to a game against the Bluefield Orioles on July 18, 2010, at Pioneer Field in Greeneville, Tenn. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
You may not have heard the name Mike Foltynewicz, but the Houston Astros picked him as their No. 1 draft pick for 2010, and they’re hoping you’ll hear the name someday soon in the Houston lineup.

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I certainly knew who he was when I drove up to the Greeneville Astros’ ball park in Tennessee last July to shoot one of his team’s rookie Appalachian League games. 
I only had one day in Greeneville, and like every other Minor League photographer I had a list of top draft picks and I wanted those shots more than any others.
But pitchers like Foltynewicz are the toughest assignments. They pitch once every four or five days in the minors and sometimes spend an entire day never picking up a ball or glove. This would be one of those no-throw days.
But I had to get a shot, any shot. And I just don’t like making posed photos. So I followed him around as he did his pre-game workout with arm exercises and a medicine-ball toss. All fun behind-the-scenes stuff that I love seeing and shooting — but no baseball-card-worthy shots. So I gave up and went on to photograph as many of the other players as possible.
Later, when he emerged from the clubhouse right before the game in his home uniform, I still had some hope that I might get my shot. Those hopes faded away when he drew the evening’s autograph-table assignment. A dull photo if there ever was one. This would be a scratch. Sitting at a table near the gate and signing his name . . . I knew the other guys in my agency would be luckier (and smarter) than me and would get him on a pitching night.
But I don’t give up easily, and I lurked by the autograph table and waited until someone said something funny and he cracked the only smile I saw on his face all night. (Lots of pressure being a No 1 pick.) I got one shot. But I knew I didn’t have a chance at an image anyone would publish.
So you can imagine my delight yesterday when I scoured the latest batch of Bowman 2010 Draft Picks and Prospects cards . . . and saw my Foltynewicz autograph-table shot.
Sweet. Very sweet.

On the road in the Appalachian League

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Infielder Brian Burke (9) of the Elizabethton Twins hits off a tee in the batting cage prior to a game against the Danville Braves on July 16, 2010, at Joe O’Brien Field in Elizabethton, Tenn. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
I’m back home now after shooting my first four-day, four-town, four-game series in the rookie Appalachian League, and despite the daily non-stop thunderstorm warnings, I never got wet.
(At least, not until day five, when I tried to push my luck and extend the streak one day to shoot a Carolina League game in a fifth town, but that’s another story.)
Oddly enough, my favorite photo from the trip was the one above, which I shot in the first 10 minutes of day one. 
I arrived pretty early in Elizabethton, Tenn., even before batting practice, and I saw some interesting activity in the batting cage. Most batting cages are in dark, dungeon-like rooms deep inside the stadium, normally with very little light, so they don’t photograph well. 
Not so this cage, which was completely open on one side down the right field line.
I clicked off a few shots and liked this one the best.
(I’ll have more photos from the trip coming up soon.)

Yeah, I got a little behind in blog entries . . .

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       August 1, 2009: Second baseman Ted Obregon (15) of the Johnson City 
       Cardinals high-fives a young player before a game at Howard Johnson 
       Field in Johnson City, Tenn. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam 
Yeah, I got little bit behind on the blogging.
This time of year is always a mess for me, with a frantic attempt to edit and post all the photos that I’ve taken during the summer.
As you can see from the previous several posts — all entered at about the same time — I’m trying to clear out my notebooks. And I’ll try to do better for the rest of the season.
But . . . I always have time for those cute kid photos . . .

Orioles prospect Hobgood gets lots of coverage

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       August 1, 2009: RHP Matthew Hobgood (34) of the Bluefield Orioles, 2009 
       first round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles, pitches at Howard Johnson 
       Field in Johnson City, Tenn. He was 2008 Los Angeles Times Player of 
       the Year and Gatorade National Player of the Year out of Norco High 
       School in Norco, Calif. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
Four shooters from Four Seam Images/ Baseball America/ all showed up at the same rookie league game last night in Johnson City, Tenn., an occurrence more rare than a total eclipse of the sun.
And although we all compete with each other, we had a good time talking, having our own picture made and trying to stay out of each others’ way.
The main target of our attention was Matthew Hobgood, a 2009 first round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles, fresh out of high school and still wearing braces.
Hobgood didn’t enjoy the evening as much as we did. He lasted only two innings, giving up three runs on six hits and boosting his ERA to 7.20

A good outing for Clemson’s Trey Delk

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       July 22, 2009: RHP Charles “Trey” Delk of the Bristol White Sox, rookie 
       Appalachian League affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, pitched 7 no-hit 
       innings against the Burlington Royals at Burlington Athletic Stadium in 
       Burlington, N.C. Delk was drafted in the 29th rouhg out of Clemson. 
       Photo by: Tom Priddy/
He’s listed as “Charles Delk” on the official Bristol White Sox roster, and when I glanced at the Iistings I almost missed it.
It was former Clemson pitcher Trey Delk, and he just happened to be the starting pitcher tonight when I caught a Burlington-Bristol Appalachian League game.
My good fortune to catch Delk pitching got even better when he threw seven no-hit innings. It would have been seven perfect innings, but he flubbed a dribbler back to the mound for an error.
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Braves’ 4th round pick, infielder Mycal Jones

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       July 15, 2009: 2009 draft pick infielder Mycal Jones (1) of the Danville 
       Braves, 4th round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves, prior to a game against 
       the Elizabethton Twins at Dan Daniel Memorial Park in Danville, Va. 
       Photo by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
In case you think I was just fooling with you by mentioning Mycal Jones in a previous post and not showing his photo — here he is.

I always wind up with those goofy photos

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       July 15, 2009: L.V. Ware (7) of the Danville Braves pretends to help Braves 
       mascot Blooper stretch before a game against the Elizabethton Twins 
       at Dan Daniel Memorial Park in Danville, Va. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/
       Four Seam Images
Oh, you know, no matter where I go, I always wind up with a goofy photo or two . . . .
I mean, what else are you gonna do while the teams are just standing around waiting for the game to start?