Relay

Relay

On This Date: Photo taken 9/15/2011

Lansing Lugnut shortstop Peter Mooney relays the ball to first base. The baserunner, who’s out, is Ronny Gil of the Quad Cities River Bandits; Mooney’s throw would not get QC batter/runner Oscar Taveras.

The Midwest League’s regular season ends on Labor Day, and is followed by a three-tiered playoff that ends in mid-month. In 2011 Lansing hosted Quad Cities (they play in Davenport) on September 15 for the second game of a best-of-five series.

The Bandits won the game by a 5-3 score, putting them up on the series 2 wins to no losses. They’d wrap the championship up at home the next night.


Two pics today. Because I want to tell two stories.

Just a reminder that I take lots of photographs at baseball games, only a few of which have shown up in this project.

Number of pix taken on various September 15ths: 1653
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 21
  • 2 Stars: 124
  • 3 Stars: 1236
  • 4 Stars: 242
  • 5 Stars: 30

Eddie

Eddie

On This Date: Photo taken 9/4/2006

A few days back I showed you Eddie De La Cruz pitching under the lights at Battle Creek’s CO Brown Stadium. Here he is in the daylight at Lansing’s Oldsmobile Park.

This photo was captured during the D’Rays’ last game as Battle Creek’s franchise. Lansing won by a 5-4 score.

The Battle Creek photo was taken from my usual seat in that ballyard; this was from my most common Lansing seat. The views are quite different, as you can see.


Yeah, two pix again today….

When the light permits I usually photograph baseball to stop the action. This photo captures Eddie’s long, long stride. I’m a bit annoyed that the photo missed his front foot.

Number of pix taken on various September 4ths: 444
Year of oldest photo: 2003

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 0
  • 2 Stars: 52
  • 3 Stars: 307
  • 4 Stars: 75
  • 5 Stars: 10

Revision History:

Eddie De La Cruz to Joe Benson

Eddie De La Cruz to Joe Benson

On This Date: Photo taken 8/29/2006

De La Cruz is pitching for the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays and Benson’s at bat for the Beloit Snappers, a Brewers affiliate. Midwest League action at Battle Creek’s CO Brown Stadium.

The D’Rays were about done. They’d play two more home dates, then a Labor Day series in Lansing. After those the franchise moved to Midland, where they became the Great Lakes Loons.

I miss ’em. Especially late in August I miss ’em.


Under the lights my baseball photographs are more about capturing action than stopping it. Thus: Eddie’s in motion, the baseball’s a blur, and Joe’s about to swing that bat. The second baseman’s Matt Devins.

Number of pix taken on various August 29ths: 392
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 1
  • 2 Stars: 41
  • 3 Stars: 289
  • 4 Stars: 56
  • 5 Stars: 5

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

On This Date: Photo taken 8/24/2003

Odd how a movie set can become sort of a shrine….

I first read Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe when it was new, and it was magical. The movie based on the book is differently magical. Both are among my favorites.


After a career spent running and programming computers, my sister enrolled at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque. In late August we’d help her move from wherever she’d spent the summer, then we’d play tourist for a day or two. We took a river cruise, explored city parks, visited Galena, and found our way to Dyersville’s movie set.

Who “we” were varied. I travelled to Iowa with my mother, my brother, and with Joan. Not all such trips were made in August.

Number of pix taken on various August 24ths: 624
Year of oldest photo: 2003

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 2
  • 2 Stars: 56
  • 3 Stars: 369
  • 4 Stars: 170
  • 5 Stars: 27

Tyler Stubblefield

Tyler Stubblefield

On This Date: Photo taken 8/15/2011

Fort Wayne third baseman Stubblefield’s making the play against the Lansing Lugnuts at Lansing’s ballyard.

The Tincaps (a Johnny Appleseed reference) beat the Lugnuts (an auto industry reference, sort of) by a 6-5 score.


Number of pix taken on various August 15ths: 1531
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 0!
  • 2 Stars: 63
  • 3 Stars: 1263
  • 4 Stars: 194
  • 5 Stars: 11

Keeping Score

Keeping Score

On This Date: Photo taken 8/5/2005

Some people can’t watch a ballgame without a scorecard.

My brother and I were at Toronto’s Skydome (yeah, I know: Rogers Centre) with a few hundred other members of the Society for American Baseball Research. We were there for SABR’s convention, where we attended workshops and meetings, socialized, watched this ballgame, and had an all-around good time.

Not sure whose scorecard this was, but I kept score, too. I generally do. I’m quite capable of shooting hundreds of photographs and scoring a ballgame…..


So many choices for today’s photo!

A Milwaukee Harbor tour. The SABR convention mentioned above, and a walking tour of downtown Toronto. Mine and power plant tours in Minnesota, with locomotives. Flowers (lots of flowers, in bright colors). Michillimackinac, and Mackinac Point lighthouse, and The Bridge. Finches at feeders. A couple ballgames. Foggy landscapes. And two years’ bluegrass festivals at Milan.

A wealth of photographs. And I stick you with a stupid scorecard.

Number of pix taken on various August 5ths: 1715
Year of oldest photo: 1992

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 14 (same mistake, 13 times)
  • 2 Stars: 156
  • 3 Stars: 1126
  • 4 Stars: 383
  • 5 Stars: 36

Matt Esparza

Matt Esparza

On This Date: Photo taken 8/3/2013

Northwoods League “action”–well, warmups–at Battle Creek’s CO Brown Stadium.

Matt, then a student at Tennessee though he’d later transfer to UC-Irvine, was playing for the Green Bay Bulldogs that summer. Something’s gotten his attention across the diamond.

Esparza’s now playing in the Indians system, at Akron.


I generally get to the ballpark early, and wander around a bit before the game. Sometimes my best pics are taken during warmups.

Number of pix taken on various August 3rds: 1004
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 3
  • 2 Stars: 81
  • 3 Stars: 781
  • 4 Stars: 128
  • 5 Stars: 11

Pat MacKenzie

Pat MacKenzie

On This Date: Photo taken 8/1/2013

I often go to baseball games on August 1.

MacKenzie, batting for the Waterloo Bucks, is watching a pitch from Todd Eaton of the Battle Creek Bombers. Northwoods League action from my seat behind home plate at Battle Creek’s CO Brown Stadium.

A couple days back I mentioned that my baseball photography kit usually includes my rather old Nikon Nikkor 300 mm f/4.0 lens. This is why. The long lens makes an enormous difference.


MacKenzie attended Central Michigan University, and is the collegiate player I’ve seen most often while playing only for opposition teams. I’ve seen him play against both Michigan State and Western Michigan. I’ve seen him at CMU’s Theunissen Stadium, at MSU’s McLane Stadium, and at WMU’s Bobb Stadium. And here, of course, playing summer ball against Battle Creek’s team.

In 2014 MacKenzie returned to the Bucks and had an exceptional season. He was drafted by the Tigers in 2015, and played well in the low minors. But that career lasted only one season.

Number of pix taken on various August 1sts: 1505
Year of oldest photo: 2003

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 3
  • 2 Stars: 94
  • 3 Stars: 1220
  • 4 Stars: 178
  • 5 Stars: 10

Revision History:

Head First into First

Head First into First

On This Date: Photo taken 7/29/2004

Midwest League action: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers vs Battle Creek Yankees at BC’s CO Brown Stadium.

The Yank’s batter/runner is Enrique Cruz, with pitcher Paul Thorp (#38) in the coaching box. The Rattlers in the picture are first baseman Bryan LaHair, second baseman Mike Cox, shortstop Adam Jones, and (probably) pitcher Austin Bilke. Not sure who that umpire is.

Here’s the box score, courtesy of the MWL Archives website. My thanks to David Malamut.


Shot this with my Nikon N90s and the 28-105 mm lens I mentioned a few days back, and scanned it from a negative. I’d eventually figure out that a longer lens was desirable for ballpark photography. By April of 2005 my usual game kit included my then-new D70 and my 300 mm optic.

That lens was already several years old; I purchased it in 1998. I still take it to ballparks.

Number of pix taken on various July 29ths: 291
Year of oldest photo: 2004

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 1
  • 2 Stars: 27
  • 3 Stars: 168
  • 4 Stars: 80
  • 5 Stars: 15

Watch the Sky

The Sky

On This Date: Photo taken 7/12/2007

Went to see the Whitecaps host the Beloit Snappers in (suburban) Grand Rapids a decade ago.

Watched a storm blow in….


They got the game in. I notice that the box score describes the weather as “Cloudy.”

Number of pix taken on various July 12ths: 783
Year of oldest photo: 2005

How I Rated the Date’s Photographs:

  • 1 Star: 4
  • 2 Stars: 64
  • 3 Stars: 548
  • 4 Stars: 145
  • 5 Stars: 22