On Assignment – Game 2 – 2013 World Series – This One Hurt

I can only use one word to describe Game Two of the 2013 World Series…. Painful.

Music legend Jame Taylor sang the National Anthem prior to Game 2 of the 2013 World Series. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

Not just painful for the legions of Red Sox faithful shoehorned into Fenway Park on a chilly autumn evening after the Red Sox let a 2-1 lead evaporate into a 4-2 Cardinal win, but especially painful for yours truly.

The evening started out auspiciously enough, with local music legend James Taylor singing the National Anthem.  The Cardinals Michael Wacha and the Red Sox John Lackey then settled into a classic pitchers duel, albeit without many if any visual highlights. Pitchers duels… Yawn…

Big Papi did it again, launching an opposite field home run to give the Red Sox a short lived 2-1 lead. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

I switched out photo positions with my teammate Brad Mangin for Game Two, shooting from a very cool position hugging the left field foul line near where the wall juts out toward the Monster. It provides a unique angle not available in any other ballpark. After Matt Holliday hit a triple and scored on Matt Adams single to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead, it was Big Papi, David Ortiz, who woke up the 38, 436 fans with yet another two-run opposite field home run to put the Red Sox up 2-1.

Dustin Pedroia celebrates wtih David Ortiz after Ortiz’s 2-run home run in the sixth inning of Game 2. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

Then, things got painful.

After the Cardinals loaded the bases with one out in the seventh inning, Matt Carpenter sent a fairly shallow fly ball to left fielder Johnny Gomes, who launched an off target throw to the plate allowing Pete Kozma to score.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia can’t handle Johnny Gomes throw to the plate in the seventh inning of Game 2 of the 2013 World Series. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

Here’s where it began to REALLY hurt…

Craig Breslow launches a screamer toward yours truly, successfully hitting his unintended target during the seventh inning of Game 2. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos)

After Gomes throw got away from catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow fired an ill-advised, wild throw toward third base on an attempt to catch Matt Carpenter advancing to third base…

Next thing I know, I felt like someone sucker punched my on the left side of my face!

Here’s the second to last frame I shot before taking a baseball to the noggin’ during Game 2. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos)

Stunned, I slowly crumpled to my right after putting two and two together and realizing that Breslow’s wild throw hit me on the right side of my face!

I was REALLY lucky… an inch either up or to the right and I’m sure Breslow’s errant throw would have shattered my glasses, cheek bone or worse.  Cross off yet another one of my nine lives.  Who says shooting professional sports is glamourous and without risk??

Check out the 1:12 mark on this MLB video of the play and if you look closely, you will see a photographer (might I add the ONLY person not ducking for cover) go down, slowly, as everyone else scatters.

Geez… When am I going to give up trying to make a Pulitzer while risking life and limb??  Kidding… Obviously I wish I would have ducked like everyone else.  The ball girl even apologized after the play, but it wasn’t her fault, the ball was in play.

That is, until it whacked me.

I ended up leaving the field to ice down the swelling, so my night was over. After the game, Associated Press Photographer Elise Amendola presented me with the baseball that hit me.  Pretty cool and very classy, Elise.  Thank you!

Getting drilled however didn’t prevent me from participating in our MLB team photo before departing Fenway.

Our Boston based MLB Photos crew. L to R Rob Tringali, Brad Mangin, Jessica Foster, Jim McKenna and Ron Vesely. (Photo courtesy Al Tielemans)

This morning we flew to St. Louis on the MLB charter and I went straight to our hotel, not to ice or rest up, but to pen this blog…  I’ll be back at it tomorrow night.  Things might stagger me, but I’m not goin’ down without a fight.

Game Three, bring it on!


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1 Comment

  1. Wow Ron, that’s quite a hit you took! Baseball can definitely be dangerous. I got hit a couple times by foul balls this season. The worst time was a sharp two-hopper from Joe Mauer while I was sitting in the 3rd base well that hit me in the right hand that was still gripping my camera. The ball came at me so fast I didn’t even realize it was coming until it hit me. 2 inches to my left and it would have shot right down the barrel of my 200-400 or 2 inches up and it would have hit me in the head. My fingers swelled up pretty bad with a couple of cuts, but luckily nothing was broken.

    Thanks for sharing your game-by-game World Series stories again this season! I love hearing about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into shooting a WS. Your posts are one of my favorite parts of the Fall Classic each season.

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