The Top Ten Baseball Photos of 2014
It is that time of the year where the top 10 lists start to come out. I usually have trouble getting the list down to just ten so I find ways to make it a little larger. 2014 was a great baseball season for me. I covered almost every Purdue home game for the school, and one away contest. It was a season filled with extra inning games and walk offs. As a photographer the joy of a walk off is a blessing. With the changes over the summer at Purdue I don’t think that I will be covering the team this season. They were very fun to cover though, and I think that better times are coming quickly for the black and gold. The good news though is that there is plenty of baseball to cover in this area in the spring. This coming season I will also add some minor league baseball to the list as I will be covering some Midwest League games. I am very excited for that opportunity. I also watched the Colt League World Series for the first time ever. I have always wanted to catch a game, but I usually go on vacation around that time. This year I was in town, and I made it to the championship game. It was a great experience that I will never forget. The emotion displayed by these players made it hard not to feel chills. I also made it to a couple of White Sox games. This was an interesting season as the Sox had a tremendous new first baseman, but they were also saying goodbye to their old first baseman. Okay enough talking. Here are my top ten photos from 2014. You can find some of my other ‘best of’ posts here.
10. The first photo had a little luck to it. I knew that the outfielders would celebrate the win this way, but where they would do it is always up in the air. It depends on where they were playing the previous batter as to where they would all meet. I tried to guess where they would jump so that I could put the hammer in the background. I was close, but I had to run a few steps to the side at the last second to make the photo that I had in mind.
9. Purdue second baseman Cody Strong is a player that you love to photograph. He is an all out kind of player that will do anything for the team. That makes for great photographs. This one was an example of a couple of things. One of them was the fact that I was traveling light at the time, and I only had my 300mm lens on me. That is a little close for third base from the well. The second was the all out nature of the player. He was safe here, but he went all out so that he was safe. Cody is one of the guys to watch on this years team.
8. The next two photos are on here for more sentimental reasons than anything. During his tenure with the White Sox no player was more loved by me than Mark Buehrle. He just seems to play the game the right way. When I found out that he was pitching in Chicago a few days before my birthday I used that as an excuse to go to Chicago to see him pitch one more time. Since I am not a pool photographer I was a few rows up in the stands with a smaller lens, but I did my best to capture one more photo of Mark.
7. During the same game as the photo above of Mark I captured this shot of Paul Konerko. After Mark left the game the White Sox mounted a comeback that was capped off by this hit by Paulie that tied the game. I love the reaction by the fans who had been willing the hit to happen.
6. This season I have tried the multi-exposure photo a few times. I think that it works well in certain situations. This one was my favorite on the season.
5. Sometimes the light just works in your favor. During a game at Purdue the light really was shaping up to highlight the pitcher. Of course Purdue picked that inning to have a huge offensive outing making it last too long to make the photo of the Purdue pitcher that I wanted to make. I settled for this photo of Cody O’Neal with the light hitting him in a beautiful way.
4. Stopping the baseball in just the right spot with the pitcher and batter out of focus is not too hard to do. To do it with the writing facing the camera is another thing. Here I managed to do just that during a Purdue game. The light was really working in my favor here to make this work.
3. Speaking of light working in your favor late in a ballgame the sun was setting at Alexander Field. I moved down to the edge of the stands to make this photo. It is one of my favorite shots of the year although it is more landscape than sports shot. I was made in a stadium though so I will put it here. It will probably end up in the landscape countdown as well later in the year.
2. Sometimes your team wins in walk off fashion. Sometimes they have a great celebration that is very photogenic. Sometimes one of the opposing players has a dejected look that is also very photogenic. Sometimes they all happen in the same photo which is the case here. I love how the joy of the players is mixed with the sadness of the Ohio State player in the background. This was a big walk off win for Purdue, and one of my favorite shots of the year.
1. Sometimes you just get lucky. This was one of those times. During the final game of the 2014 Colt League World Series I had moved position from the first base side to the third base side. At the time I was moving to get the celebration out of the dugout from the team in the field. Of course the Puerto Rican team tied the game up making that celebration null and void. By moving though I was able to get this great shot of the player celebrating his game tying home run. It was an action packed inning, but this was the photo that I loved from the game. The pure joy is what the game is all about.