My 21 Favorite Images From The 2021 Baseball Season
This was a fun year for baseball. In 2020 for obvious reasons I never photographed a pitch of a baseball game. That was a hard pill to swallow. I was one day away from my first action when everything was cancelled. I was determined to photograph as many games as I could once the game came north. I have no idea how I could take an entire baseball season across many levels and boil it down to 21 photos. I will try my best to do just that below. Next year baseball comes north sooner so hopefully I can get out and make as many photos as I can early and often next year.
21. We start the countdown with a no-hitter. It was the first no-hitter that I have seen in person. That was the good news. The bad news is that it was thrown by three Illinios pitchers against Purdue. At one point in the 8th inning I had the thought that Purdue could get no-hit and still win the game. They were an eyelash away from doing just that. It wasn’t meant to be though, and he is the final pitch of that no-hitter. I went with the classic scoreboard in the background view to let it help tell the story of the pitch.
20. During the spring I was able to photograph baseball again, but not from field level. I was stuck in the stands. When summer ball came around I tried to make as good of use of my field access as I could. It was great being back down in the dugout again. Here is a nice early season sunset above some of the Lafayette Aviators.
19. I made this photo of the Delphi reliever just after the final out of the regional championship was recorded. I was hoping for some kind of emotion, and this young man delivered. These types of situations are always a gamble. I didn’t know the team so I had to guess on who would bring the emotion. Luckily for me I guess correctly.
18. An early season sunset at Loeb Stadium was a great backdrop for this photo. As the season moved on the sunsets moved back a little, and I was not able to make these photos as much. This was one of my favorites though.
17. Being back on the field was great. Here I made a photo of Allbry Major taking the field for the Aviators. This was a fun season with the team, and I wanted to try and make the best photos that I could while I was there. When you start off pregame with a photo that you like then the rest of the game usually seems to fall into place.
16. I have been lucky enough to see quite a few of the walk off wins for Purdue at Alexander Field. This year during the second home game of the season things were not going their way. They were down four in the bottom of the ninth with only six hits in the game so far. They stormed back for the great come from behind walk off.
15. If you attended a Lafayette Aviators game this year then you had to know who Jorge was. When he was on the mound you paid attention to him. When he was in the dugout he was making his presence known as well. During one of his last starts I wanted to get a few different angles of him. I liked this one as the batter was stepping out trying to figure out what was coming next.
14. Here is the Delphi team admiring the regional trophy shortly after being handed it. I always love these photos of the teams hands all leading up to the trophy.
13. I made this photo during the first ever game at Loeb Stadium. The sky was beautiful even if the weather was a bit cold. If you have read this blog then you know that I loved the old Loeb. It was heaven for photography. As this year went on I came to like this stadium more and more. I cannot wait to get back in there next spring.
12. This year I seemed to always pick the wrong place to be for plays at the plate. Here was one time when I lucked out and found a seam in between the umpire and the other players.
11. I love a good emotional photo. If you add a cloud of dust to it I love it even more. Here Cam Thompson helps me get all of that in one photo. This Purdue team is fun to watch, and they have some interesting new pieces headed into the spring. I hope that they can add to some great moments that I have seen next season.
10. This year I had more luck getting that slide into third base than I have in a long time. Here Allbry Major executes a beautiful slide to avoid the tag and get into third. The late day light just adds to this photo. This was part of three nights in a row of Allbry coming into third in a different way to avoid the tag. Some players just know what to do to win. I think that Allbry is one of those players. After covering him at Xavier it was great to see him play ball again.
9. This is on here for a couple of reasons. One of them is that it shows what it is like being in the dugout with Jorge. He kept you loose and made photographing the games very fun. The other is that it was a fun experiment with the tilt shift lens. When I first picked it up this summer I was just thinking about using it a lot to learn what it could do. Now I need to think of how to make those ways work into my workflow.
8. Jayson Newman was a fun player to watch this summer. He came to the team when I was away and I didn’t know the guy in the post game photo. I quickly came to know who he was. He became the clutch bat on the team, and if things went right he would close the game on the mound as well. Here he is hitting a ball into the blue hour sky.
7. As soon as I saw where the football stadium press box was I know that I wanted to make this photo. With a runner on first it just helped me fill the frame with even more action. The Knights have a stadium with many places to put the team logo or name into your photos. The fun to to try and get into position to make those photos. This was my first game ever there, and I made sure to visit the field a few more times over the course of the season.
6. I had my camera on the ground to make this photo of a CC player diving back into first. You have to love these last old dirt fields that are out there. Dust and dirt flying to me is a part of baseball. More often than not though I end up with rubber pellets in my photos on the turf fields that are showing up everywhere. I will have to take advantage of these last fields while I can.
5. This was part of an amazing season with the Lafayette Aviators. Jayson Newman had just hit a home run that basically sealed the deal sending the Aviators to the Prospect League World Series. The crowd was going wild, and Jayson was having fun pumping them up. I ran out onto the field with the team to make this photo.
4. I made this photo during the first ever game at Loeb Stadium. If you know me then you know that I love to make photos of catchers. As a kid my favorite player was a catcher, and I have always admired the position. With the blue sky and orange stadium lights this photo was a no-brainer to make.
3. Harrison had just won their section in Loeb and they were handed the trophy. I felt that I hadn’t made a good photo of the team with the trophy when one of the players leaned over to kiss it. It was like the baseball gods had decided to give me a photo.
2. This was my favorite action photo of the year. You have the player sliding into third in some very good light. The sidelight allows the rubber pellets to show up much better. The chain flying just added to it in my opinion. The next night I made a similar photo, but just after the light went down. It was not the same. This was the perfect play at the perfect time.
- This was the year of the baseball bubble. I made a lot of bubble photos that I liked, but this one was by far my favorite. With no field access I was forced to find ways to make it look like I was right there with them. I used the curve of the stadium and a long lens to get right into the dugout here. Of course the player was in the shade with a hot sun in the background. That could have ruined the photo, but I felt that it made for an amazing black and white photo.
There are my 21 favorite photos from this past season. It is amazing to me that I kept it to 21 and didn’t add any extra in there. After just being able to watch baseball on TV for a year it was great to get back out to the field. I shook off the rust and had a pretty good season for me. Next year as always the plan is to try and blow this list out of the water. It was easy to make better baseball photos than 2020. It will be much harder to beat the photos from 2021. The fun though will be in trying to do just that.
I write this watching game six of the World Series. As I write this it appears like it could be the last game of the year. This will be a long winter without baseball, but it looks like I may have some baseball to photograph earlier in 2022. If you want to see more of my favorite baseball photos here are a few links with some of my other favorites.