My Favorite Ten Images From the 2017 Big Ten Baseball Tournament
This year I was finally able to get out and photograph the Big Ten baseball tournament. I have wanted to ever since I saw that great championship game in 2012. The tournament being close and Purdue being in it finally allowed me to get to see the Big Ten baseball teams in tournament action. I wanted to make this post sooner, but things have been busy since that tournament. I only was in attendance for the first two days, but man did I see some great baseball in that time. In a perfect world I will get to head out to Omaha next year to do it all again. For now though here are my ten favorite images from this year’s tournament.
10. We will start the countdown with one of the stories of the tournament. The Iowa Hawkeyes came in as the four seed and went on to win the whole thing. They did so with a weird schedule as well as the weather and long games pushed them back. Here in their first game against Maryland they celebrate a home run. This had to be a fun team to photograph all year if they played like they did in the tournament.
9. As the tournament was winding down for Purdue I made some sense of place photos of the team playing. This shot of Alec Olund batting was one of them. I wanted to get the Big Ten logos and the dugout signage in the shot. It was the first trip in a while so why not go wide with a few shots?
8. This was the opposite of the above shot. I went in pretty tight here on Purdue catcher Nick Dalesandro. A couple of times in the tournament he was the subject of a very tight photo. Here it was simply because he was wearing the catcher gear with the mask up. When the catcher has the mask down they are hard to identify. During those brief times when it is pulled up I try and get a few photos in. I really like how this one turned out.
7. As I said above Iowa was a fun team to photograph. After the win over Iowa the pitcher celebrated on the mound. Emotion is always a good thing, and I have liked this photo ever since I saw it on the back of my camera.
6. Northwestern was the other story of the tournament. They came into the tournament as the 7th seed ending a long span not in the tournament. They then marched right into the title game against Iowa. Here they celebrate a big play as they knocked off the #2 seed Michigan on the first day. The senior leadership was huge for the Wildcats during the tourney. They did not want to end their careers just yet.
5. Here is one shot that I still don’t know why I made it. I was tracking a fly ball hit by Purdue when I thought that it might be caught at the wall. I should have been on the Purdue player, but I instead swung my camera to the fence. I am glad that I did as I captured a series of the Nebraska right fielder robbing a home run. It was a nice catch for sure, and I was happy with how my photo turned out.
4. If I could pick one photo to describe day one of the tournament it would be this one of Skyler Hunter. Here he runs to first in the pouring rain. Rain was the story on day one as it just kept coming down all day. I don’t mind the rain though as I have gear for myself as well as my camera. The rain adds a little bit of drama to photos. Here are night the stadium lights helped illuminate the drops making them even cooler.
3. The rain cleared out for day two, and although we didn’t have a fantastic sunset the colors here were pretty nice. I wanted a nice overall shot of the field, and the light here was the perfect time to do it. The wind up of the pitcher helps here a little as well.
2. As day one was winding down for Purdue I went down the first base line to make this shot of Hunter Wolfe delivering a pitch. I wanted that Big Ten sign in the shot so I went as far down the line as I could to put it there. It was an interesting shot to me, and one I hope I can repeat next year.
- I am going to catch some flack for this one. This is my favorite shot of the tournament. It is Indiana celebrating their 13th inning walk off. I know that I was there to shoot for Purdue so I shouldn’t choose this photo, but it was the most emotion I saw the entire tournament. I was only there two days though so maybe if I stayed I could have topped this one, but it would have been hard. To top it off the player that hit the walk off is a colleague of my wife’s at work. A pretty cool moment for the one Indiana player that I was photographing that day.