The Angels STILL have great team chemistry
Posted on April 3, 2010
Kendry Morales, Juan Rivera, Bobby Abreu, Maicer Izturis, Erick Aybar and other teammates of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hangs gather for a picture in the dugout before a spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds on March 10, 2010 at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Brad Mangin)
Last season I wrote about the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the great vibe they have around their ballclub. I wrote that they had great team chemistry. They were so much fun to be around during the 2009 season when I photographed them in the dugout before games in Oakland and San Francisco I was excited to see how they would be during the relaxed atmosphere that surrounds spring training last month when I was on assignment for Sports Illustrated covering the Cactus League in Arizona. I was not disappointed!
I was sent over to the Angels wonderful home ballpark, Tempe Diablo Stadium, to shoot a game between the Angels and Reds on a sunny and cool afternoon last month. My main objective was to shoot Angels slugging first baseman Kendry Morales for an upcoming feature story about him. I thought it would be fun to hang out in the dugout before the game so I could shoot some pre-game features of Morales joking around with his teammates. Boy was I in for a treat! After Morales and his teammates stretched in right field they came back into their dugout on the first base side of the diamond and immediately started talking to me and goofing on each other. Left fielder Juan Rivera (one of the nicest guys with the best smile in baseball) came over to Morales and posed with him and third base coach Dino Ebel for a fun set of pictures (see above).
Rivera then gathered all the Latin guys for an impromptu group photo. What a great group of guys who really seemed to get along! Their smiles were blinding and I knew I had a picture that would stay etched in my memory for a long time (see top).
Finally, the man who is responsible for the great vibe and great team play that personifies this perennial winner, manager Mike Scioscia came over and jumped into the middle of the picture to harass Morales. Amazing! The best part of this entire experience is that I was alone in the dugout as the only photographer. These pictures were mine and no one else had them. Moments like these are so much fun to witness and document. These are the pictures I am so excited to look at and edit when I get back to my hotel room in Scottsdale after the game.
I look forward to the Angels first visit to Oakland in a few months. I will check in with them before the game and continue my documentation of the great vibe that surrounds their club. They have something special going on in Anaheim.