On Thursday, I went to the Indians game for the third time this year and second to photograph the game. Even though I had already shot one game, I was a little bit nervous this time around because the weather forecast called for 70% chance of precipitation and that worried me. The last game I went to was on July 3rd and I didn’t leave there till midnight because of two rain delays.
So, when I got there and saw all of the clouds looming in the distance it made me a little bit nervous. Also, one of the photographers there from the associated press was a guy I knew because I interviewed him for a school project. I was glad to see him because I was apprehensive about the weather. He showed me around the press suites and I finally got a chance to meet the beat reporter for the Indians.
After meeting the reporter, I went to the dining area to get something to eat. However, because most of the food costs money, I just ate a sugar cookie. But, I took the time to talk to some of the other photographers that were there. Some of them I have been fans of for a long time because I think there is an art to being assigned day after day to one team and try to come up with something new and different every night. When we were in the dining area, I noticed something strange popping up on the horizon. The storm was coming quicker and then all of a sudden it was here.
I went back downstairs and started looking for a friend of mine who just happened to have tickets to this game. I didn’t have my phone on me because it was with all of my photo gear and went to where his seats were, but when I got there it was a big open space and the rain was pouring down in buckets and the wind was pushing all of the rain inside the park where I was. Fortunately, I had my camera on me and was able to snap a photo of all of the rain.
Eventually, I found my friend and said hi and then went back down to the photo-bay where the game got underway after a 25 minute delay. Now an important thing to know when you are shooting sports, especially baseball is there are certain types of shots that you have to get at every game. For example, a picture of the pitcher zoomed in with the background out of focus or the batter connecting on a ball. These are shots that I take just in case nothing else exciting happens.
At first, the game was exciting with each team getting a run apiece, but then the Tigers scored two more runs to make the score 3-1. After that, there was very little offense with the Indians and they just kept in a stalling pattern until the bottom of the seventh inning. Finally, in the bottom of the seventh inning, we got some excitement in the form of a four-run rally. Something unheard of for the Indians to be down 3-1 and then take the lead 5-3.
To top it off, the first two runs of the inning were back-to-back home runs from Carlos Santana and Travis “Pronk” Hafner. After the home runs, two more runs were scored courtesy of Jose Lopez and Shin Soo Choo. ***P.S. A side note about Choo, to anyone reading this, please don’t trade him because he is one of our best hitters. I’ve been hearing rumors about him going to Pittsburgh and I sincerely hope they are not true.***
And after that, the pitching of Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez were able to keep the Tigers at bay as they were able to hang on for the win. Another note about pitching, one of the major reasons why I wanted to shoot this game was Justin Verlander was going to be pitching for the Tigers and I was very curious to see him pitch in person. He actually walked right past me on his way to the dugout from the visitors bullpen! That was so the coolest moment of the game, besides the four-run rally.
This game was one of the best games I have ever been to and reminds me of why I love baseball. The feeling during the rally was just so electric and the smile on my face was as permanent as it could be. I love that feeling when they start to get some runs on the scoreboard after they were losing 3-1. It is an indescribable feeling and even as I write this, it makes me smile thinking about it. It was truly the game of the year and now I am 3-0 at the games I have attended!!