Back at Victory Field Again

It was nearly a year ago that I shot my last game for the Indy Indians. The season ended a lot earlier than I thought it would last year, but sometimes you have to do what you think is right. I loved shooting there, but the last game I shot left a bad taste in my mouth. Photographing Ball State at Victory Field last month reminded me how much fun I can have there. I decided to go back and give it a try again, but this time just shooting for Minor League Baseball.

The Top Prospect in Baseball Part One

The main reason I was at the game was to see Yoan Moncada play for Charlotte. The reason was two fold. With Andrew Benintendi with Boston Yoan becomes the top prospect in the minors. I don’t expect him to be there long so I wanted to see him in action before he was called up. The second reason is that as you know if you read this blog I am a huge White Sox fan. It is fun to have a few highly thought of prospects in the minors. I wanted to see some of them up close while I could. Of course when I got to the park I looked at the lineup sheet and Yoan was not on it. I did make this photo of Yoan in the dugout along with a few of him signing autographs prior to the game.

Making the Most Out of a Bad Situation

With Yoan not playing I was kind of wondering what I would shoot during the game. One thing that was clear from the beginning of the game was that his replacement at second base, Jose Vinicio, was going to have a fun game to photograph. He just seemed to constantly be in the right place at the right time to make an interesting image. I ended up with many photos of Jose on the day that I liked so it was all for the best. I hope to see Yoan play on my second visit to the stadium which will have already occurred by the time this post goes live. If you check my social media feeds I am sure you will see photos of him if he does indeed play.

The Other Player of the Game

By not shooting after the middle of May for the Indians I completely missed the call up of Austin Meadows. When he led off the game for the Indians I was surprised looking at his numbers. I thought that they would be higher. He then seemed to be on a tear during the game though pretty much being the force that gave the Indians the game. He looked like the highly ranked player I was excited to see last season. Sometimes you just need to have something click. Maybe that has happened for Austin.

Behind the Plate

Part of the fun of the day games with all of the kids is that there are plenty of good shooting spots open. The good seats behind the plate are empty for the most part because of the start time. I used to come to those games as a fan to photograph the pitchers. I remember coming a few years ago to see Francisco Liriano pitch for the Tribe from those seats. Tuesday was a good day to get some head on shots of the pitchers.

Where It All Began

In 2015 I wanted to shoot a couple of games at Victory Field for my portfolio. The communications person at the time for the Indians never got back to me so I contacted the communications person for the Knights when they came to town to see if they needed someone. As it turned out Dayan Viciedo was making his comeback with the club that night so they said yes. The day of the game it was announced that Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow would be making their debuts for the Tribe. With no photographer available Indy asked if I would shoot for them. Of course that was the night I made the Josh Bell photo that won photo of the year for Minor League Baseball. A lot of luck was involved to get to that moment, but it was these two teams playing that made it possible.

Getting In Tight

The morning that I shot this game I had a post go out about the Purdue baseball game on Sunday. In that post I talked about getting in tight to focus on some of the details of the game. Here I was waiting to see if Indians outfielder Austin Meadows would dive back into first base on a pickoff attempt. He extended his lead on the pitch instead, and it created a cool moment. The dirt flying up and the mud on the cleats made for an interesting photo I thought. As the summer goes on I need to do a bit more of this.

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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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