On Assignment-Game 2-2011 World Series

The cold and rainy skies of Wednesday’s Game One gave way to sunshine on Thursday as we prepared for Game Two of the 2011 World Series in Saint Louis.

Sunny skies with scattered clouds created the perfect opportunity to play around and have some fun while making images of Busch Stadium suitable for HDR enhancement. I'm a big fan of HDR. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

Things were “back to normal” for the MLB Photos Photo team as Rich Pilling returned to his familiar position as MLB’s on-field guy and I rotated into Brad Mangin’s Game One photo position in the outside third well with Brad moving upstairs to the highly desirable first base overhead photo location.

Brad forewarned me that things were rather cozy and a bit uncomfortable in the well at third, which meant among other things that it would be difficult to swing lenses quickly while attempting to follow the action.  The third base well also brought with it the ever present danger of being blocked by any one of an assortment of obstacles.  Third base coaches, umpires, security personnel, other players.  You name it, they can and usually will block you. Thankfully, that’s why most organizations have other photog’s board to cover events like the World Series.  Hopefully someone will have a clear view of the “play of the game”.

Finally, some Cardinal/Rangers interaction occured. As is usually the case, the best part of the play comes late in the sequence, and as sure as the day is long the third base umpire strolled into my frame right as the best part of the play unfolded. All you can do is try. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

The play of the game.  It is usually quite obvious.  Game One’s picture was Chris Carpenter’s defensive gem at first base.  But what if there really weren’t any pictures? I’m talking for the entire game.  What do you do?

Thursday’s Game Two was one of those games.  When there are combined five hits total through the middle of the seventh inning and the score is deadlocked at 0-0, what might be revered by many baseball fans as “a classic pitchers duel” is most certainly boring as hell from a photographers perspective.

Yorvit Torrealba, Michael Young, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli and Josh Hamilton all contributed to my "strike out dejection walk back to the dugout" gallery during Game Two of the 2011 World Series. (Photos by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

Just tell me how many images of dejected players walking back with their heads down back to the dugout after striking out can any editor use?

How about a great defensive play, or a take em’ out double play to at least give us photog’s something?  Not this night.

Nelson Cruz's swing and a miss while flinging his bat won the award for most interesting picture of a Ranger batter looking bad against Cardinal southpaw Jamie Garcia Thursday night during Game Two. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

I felt guilty shipping cards back to our editors filled with… nothing.  You can only shoot what you see, so the guilt evaporated quickly, but as the old saying goes, “it is what it is”.  “What it is” is disappointing, especially when you are working on generating content to fill a commemorative book.

My favorite picture of the day was of a father and son looking in toward the field at Busch Stadium as the late afternoon light began to fade prior to Game Two. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

Thank goodness for the sunshine earlier in the day.  At least before the game I had an opportunity to make a few pictures.

Fortunately, I wasn't blocked on Ian Kinsler's successful steal of second base, which setup the Rangers come-from-behind rally in the ninth inning of Game Two. Note in the background what appears to be Jon Jay doing a little premature celebrating on the play. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

Of course, my photojournalist mindset took charge and worked at trying to make the decisive plays of the game at least look interesting.  But I gotta tell you, Thursday’s Game Two just wasn’t a standout game for me.  I kept silently pleading with the third base coaches to get aggressive and send the runners in the ninth inning to at least set up a play at the plate.  Come on!!  We need pictures!!

Michale Young connects for what turned out to be the game winning RBI sacrifice fly in the ninth inning of Game Two of the 2011 World Series. Not what I would call a "picture perfect" swing, but it certainly got the job done and sent the Rangers back to Arlington with The Series tied at one game apiece. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

As bad as the Rangers looked through my collection of strike em’ out dejection pictures, they came to life just in time and pulled out a 2-1 come from behind win to defeat the Cardinals and knot up the best-of-seven Series at one game apiece.

Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler, who played key rolls during the Rangers two-run ninth inning celebrate after Game Two. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

Game Three is in Arlington Saturday night.  I’m looking forward to getting to the ballpark with hopes that the Rangers and Cardinals get their respective offenses going so the I can once and for all quit adding to my already too large collection of batters looking dejected after striking out pictures!

 

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