John Smoltz pitches for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Washington Nationals on August 28, 2009 at Busch Stadium

Looking Back at the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2015

This is the second year in a row when I have really watched the entire careers of the whole class. I remember collecting the baseball cards of these guys as they started their careers. I have seen three of the four play in person. Randy Johnson was the one player that I never saw play, but I do remember watching his games on TV. As a lefty myself I always take an interest in a lefty that is doing well. Randy is also a photographer which is something that he has always talked about, but I did not know about it until the last year or so. Pedro Martinez was a fun pitcher to watch. He was a force back in the day for the Red Sox. For some reason when I saw him play the White Sox though he would look very human. I remember Joe Crede seemed to have his number. I have the above photo of John Smoltz from a game I saw him pitch on my birthday in 2009. He was a member of the Cardinals to close out his career, and a rain day at work allowed me to make the trip a day early to see the Cardinals play the Nationals. I knew that I would be watching a special player. Six years later we know that he was special enough to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. As a photographer I am not supposed to have favorites. As a kid I did not have that problem. From the moment I first saw him play I liked Craig Biggio. He was just that guy that would do anything to get the win. He was a player that was not afraid to get dirty, and it didn’t hurt that he played catcher. Of course since that time he moved around the field a little. It is a shame that his only chance at a World Series title happened the same year that my White Sox were in the series. If it had comes against any other team I would have been rooting for him to get the title. This past season I was very fortunate to be able to photograph both of his kids while they were playing for Notre Dame. I really have a problem with the Hall of Fame committee at times. I don’t know why a guy like Craig was not a first ballot guy. The politics and games that the voters play can be irritating sometimes. No matter though as he is now part of a very good Hall of Fame class. Although he would have been part of a pretty good class last year as well.

Looking Back at Your Older Photos

As I said above I made this photo in 2009. This was a period of time when I knew that I enjoyed making photos, but I was lacking some key knowledge that would have made them better. I would shoot in TV mode which is shutter priority mode. Sometimes my photos would come out okay, and sometimes they would not. I could freeze the moment, but my settings would sometimes fail me. I shot this with my camera that I used for five years. I had the Canon Rebel XT. My lens of choice for action at the time was my 75-300mm lens that would lose a couple of stops as I zoomed in. Night games were always a problem, but that is what makes a photo like the one above that worked so special. It is at times like this when I look back that I realize how far I have come in a short period of time. I found photography later in life. I wish that I had found it earlier for moments like the one above. Although had I found it earlier I would not have been there at that time.

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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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