My 19 Favorite Photos From The 2019 Lafayette Aviators Season
If you follow this blog then you know that I love baseball. Football is a close second. To me there are two times during the year. One when one of those two is in season, and one when they are not. I love photographing all sports, but these two really bring out the best in me I think. This past summer I was lucky enough to get to be a part of the final season at historic Loeb Stadium for the Lafayette Aviators. In my short time in Lafayette I really came to like this old stadium. It was baseball played the old way. When a player slid into a bag dust flew. A lot of dust flew actually. I really had a good time at the park, and I hope that it shows in my favorite photos from this past year. Next year the Aviators will be playing in a stadium that I am very familiar with in Alexander Field. For now though lets look back at the season that was for the Aviators.
19. Part of the great thing about being around so many games this season was getting to know people around the stadium. The flight crew really treated my family great, and they even let my youngest get in on some of the action. Watching her announce the names of the players a couple of times was a memory that I will have for a long time.
18. In between vacations this summer I was able to catch moon night at the park. The Aviators were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with many promotions. I loved seeing a moon man throw out the first pitch of the game.
17. Old stadiums like Loeb have the coolest tunnels to get to the field. The new stadium will be fantastic, but I think that the charm of Loeb will be gone forever. I wanted to find some of that charm and show it off during the season.
16. I made this photo as the Aviators were getting ready to close out an opening night win. I love the old time look of the stadium, and with the light available I went with a black and white image.
15. When you go see teams play you always want them to win. They are also kids that should be having fun playing a game. Here I tried to show some of the fun that the team had. A moment at first base that leaves Chris Monroe with a big smile on his face.
14. Sometimes during a pitching change players will do tricks at first base too. Here we see a little basketball mixed in with baseball.
13. As the season was coming to a close the promotions seemed to get better and better. Here the game ball is being brought down to the field during the National Anthem by parachute. It was just one of a couple of great things that I was able to photograph during the last series of games.
12. Most stadiums now are built up just so to the effect that you can’t get the pitcher and the scoreboard in the same picture. Here I wanted to get a pice of the Loeb scoreboard as its time was winding down. The numbers on the board just add a cool bokeh to the photo.
11. Baseball is a great sport where the players can have some fun if they want. Here on the final night of the season you can see some of that fun. These kids put a lot of time and energy into being better ballplayers so it is great to see them loose as well.
10. On the night where the team celebrated the moon flight they had a flight of their own. The centerfielder went for it to make a tremendous catch to rob a hit. These are the moments you hope to get, but rarely get a chance to photograph. I was lucky to get this moment.
9. The season was over, and so was the life of Loeb Stadium. As the players were huddling for one final time a couple of confetti cannons went off. Most of it missed the players, but just enough of it came through the photo for a good effect.
8. On opening night I was able to showcase the dust that made Loeb Stadium so much fun to photograph. The dust from the field combined with the great light made for some great photos over time. Here on day one of the season they all came together.
7. It is fun making little portraits before the game. As the players walk by focused I always try and make a couple of these for fun every game. This was one of the more intense photos that I made during that time.
6. On the second to last night of the stadium I made this panoramic as the sun was going down. It showed a lot of the things that made Loeb Stadium such a cool little venue. These are hard to do during the game as I need a moment where everyone is mostly still. I was lucky to pull this one off.
5. Emotion makes the world go round. At least the photography world. I love jube in every form. Here the Aviators tied the game up in the ninth inning in the last game of the season. The emotion was huge, and it was fun to capture it.
4. This was early in the season, and one of my favorite plays of the year. A great catch and backhand throw to get the out. I also loved putting the players up against the future stadium in the background.
3. As the season was winding down I made a couple of drone flights over Loeb Stadium to show it off. Here the sun was nearly down giving me good light all over. Years from now I will look at pictures like this with a lot of history behind them.
2. The final game had that big game feel. I was out on the field for some reason making photos. I wanted to show off the press box and the fans that made it out. It was a record crowd so why not show it off. This shot of the battery and the first baseman during the anthem was one that I really liked.
- This was my favorite shot of the season. I was shooting backlit with the sun pretty much coming right into my lens. That flare to the right of the frame I really liked. I was waiting for the catcher to dip his mitt into the dirt, and when he did I focused on the next pitch. The resulting image was one that showcased what Loeb Stadium was to me. It was all about the dirt and the dust flying in great light. This is how baseball should be played.
There it is. My favorite photos from the past year. It was a bittersweet season. The last of Loeb, but the beginning of a new era for Lafayette baseball. As I said earlier the team will play in Alexander Field next season before moving into their brand new stadium in 2021. Summer baseball is so much fun to cover. It was a great way to hang out with family while still photographing the sport that I love. I have a feeling that I will be looking back on this summer for a long time.