In the dugout at the All Star Game
Posted on July 22, 2010
Brian Wilson and Tim Lincecum of the National League pose in the dugout before the All Star Game at Angel Stadium on June 13, 2010 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)
During the last two seasons I have had the best time photographing ballplayers relaxing in the dugout before games. Some guys love having their picture taken, like David Ortiz, and others hate it, like Kevin Youkilis. Having a nice set of pictures, shot with my wide angle lens, of guys hanging out in the dugout sure makes it more fun to edit my take after a game. My editors also enjoy the pictures. This philosophy of having fun shooting pre-game features came together for me last week. I had the great opportunity to photograph the 2010 Major League Baseball All Star Game in Anaheim for Sports Illustrated, and I decided I would try to work the dugout scene like I do in the regular season.
The All Star festivities consist of two days involving the big league players, Monday and Tuesday. Monday is batting practice and the home run derby. Tuesday is batting practice and the game itself. The media is allowed on the field for a one hour window on Monday during batting practice, and a two hour window on Tuesday before the game. In the past I have joined the hordes of media folks on the field as the players hit in the cage, trying to shoot pictures of the players mingling around with my long lens in the bad light. My pictures from batting practice before the 2007 All Star Game in San Francisco were pretty awful. I was determined to do a better job this year.
Our baseball picture editor Nate Gordon was with us at the ballpark and he encouraged me to do my best in trying to shoot dugout features. We knew this was not a typical sleepy day during the regular season in Oakland. The dugout scene would be much harder to work. This was especially the case during these two days due to the hot weather. It was so warm and steamy on the field that many of the media types were seeking refuge in the dugouts, crowding the area and making it hard for the players to spread out, relax, and create opportunities for me to photograph them.
Luckily a few of the guys hung out on Monday and I was able to get a few nice frames that I really liked. I was looking forward to Tuesday’s batting practice because we would have more time to work the scene and try to come up with some fun pictures. Once again the hot weather made the American League dugout way too crowded to get much done, so I headed over the the National League side before they came out for batting practice. This proved to be a wise move, because as the American Leaguers were gathered in center field to have their team picture taken by Matt Brown of MLB Photos, the National Leaguers came into the dugout wearing their real road gray uniforms, and not the blue All Star Game tops. As they entered the dugout and sat around for a few minutes waiting to have their team picture taken, I had the chance to get a few pictures of them sitting with their teammates, all in different uniforms (see below). I was really happy to have this chance.
By the time the game started I was ready to shoot some baseball, but as I look back on All Star week some of my favorite pictures are the ones I shot in the dugout. After doing this at the All Star Game it will make shooting the dugouts during the regular season in the Bay Area a piece of cake. More cake please!