Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Let's Play...Ball!

Saturday was a classic spring day, warm, sunny, with a delightful breeze, and not a cloud in the sky. In other words, a perfect day for a game of baseball.

I was down in Florida for a photography workshop held by a friend of mine, Robert La Follette (, and with another friend who had done the same workshop with me last year, Nick DePasquale (, Robert had mentioned that he had a surprise for us on Saturday, and would not give any hints, irregardless on how much I asked. Going to a baseball game was a definite surprise, since as a rule, I really do not like baseball. I went with an open mind though, happy to just enjoy the afternoon with two friends far away from the snow at home.

Brighthouse Field, Clearwater, Fl. is the winter home for the Philadelphia Phillies. The crowd was just starting to gather when we arrived.

This was my first baseball game, and I was not sure what to expect. The carnival atmosphere was quite a surprise. I was used to seeing the more formal games on TV, everybody in their seats, no milling around. This was a far cry from that! There were people all over, walking around, talking, chatting, and eating, after all, what good is going to a baseball game and not getting a hot dog? Or a Lemonade?

Our tickets were for Berm seating, so we were beyond the outfield in the grass. But in reality, we, like others just milled around. We watched the game from several vantage points, one being behind the foul post. That is until I heard "Look OUT!" I instinctively ducked, not knowing why, I just did it. As I was ducking, a baseball hit not more than 1 foot from where I was standing.

After the third foul ball to head in our direction, we decided discretion was the better part of valor and moved on. As we started to head towards the stadium, I looked up and realized the field was packed. A quick estimation- between 10,000 and 13,000 filled the stadium seats and the lawn.

Inside the stadium, this scene caught my eye:
The perfect symmetry between the way the grass was mowed, the circles, the lines, the diamond of the ball field, the vivid green grass accented with the players in red against the beautiful blue sky made for a lovely scene.

Chatting with an older gentleman about cameras and lenses, he very graciously offered me his seat while he came in to get something to eat and get out of the sun for a while. His seat: Front row, approximately 50' from the Batter, right over the Visting team's dugout. From there I took what I call my Sports Illustrated Cover shot:

The Tampa Bay Rays had two home runs back to back, and a third home run in the next inning.

After partaking in the game, we decided to head over and check out how the kids were doing. The Phillies' A and AA teams were also playing, and we enjoyed watching them.

Poor kids! I do not think they were used to seeing people with big cameras taking their photos.

All in all, it was a delightful experience, one that I will actually look forward to doing again if I make it down for Spring training again next year.

1 comment:

  1. Looks a great day with wonderful photographs to prove it! Love the last shot with the ball coming right at me! Well done!