The Texas Rangers: The Fun Bunch
Posted on September 28, 2009
Nelson Cruz, Coach Jackie Moore and Andruw Jones of the Texas Rangers sit in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California on Saturday, June 20, 2009. (Photo by Brad Mangin)
A few years ago the Oakland A’s made a big mistake by letting coach Ron Washington get away and capture his first managerial job with the Texas Rangers. Instead of giving Washington the chance to skipper the A’s, Billy Beane decided to hire his good friend Bob Geren. The A’s loss was the Rangers win. I BIG win. Washington has had his best year with the Rangers this season as they have contested for both the American League West title and the Wild Card spot all season long.
The second time I shot the Rangers this season was during an interleague series against the Giants in San Francisco. I was assigned to shoot the game for Sports Illustrated and got there almost three hours early to shoot batting practice in the pretty late afternoon light prior to the 6:05pm first pitch. The Rangers came out of their clubhouse early while the hometown Giants were still hitting. I was hanging out in their dugout with one camera and a wide angle lens when many of the players started joking around with each other and having a great time. They were super loose and playing really well when they rolled into town. They were a reflection of their manager. I was like a kid in a candy store as many of the best players on the roster were allowing me to hang out and photograph them as they joked around with each other. I was having so much fun and I WAS THE ONLY PHOTOGRAPHER THERE. I could not wait for my editor Nate Gordon to see my take from this game!
First I photographed Ian Kinsler, then it was Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz messing around in front of my camera. Finally everything came together when Andruw Jones came out with a sledge hammer with a bright yellow handle. What a subject! I shot fun portraits of him with his sledge hammer as he flashed his brilliant smile. Then bench coach Jackie Moore joined in the fun by putting his arm around Jones and posing for my camera. The heck with the game- this stuff was gold!
The Rangers made their final trip to the Bay Area last week soI had the chance to shoot Kinsler, one of my favorites, one last time in 2009. He has the best hair and he was showing it off near the dugout as the game was about to start. I followed him out onto the field and had a blast shooting some cool backlit images of him. The Rangers kind of fizzled towards the end of the season, but I look for big things from Wash and his club when I see them in Surprise, Arizona in 2010.