Shooting the Pinstripes at Yankee Stadium: Priceless
Posted on August 3, 2010
Photographer Brad Mangin stands on the field holding a thermometer reading 120 degrees on the field after the game between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 24, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Tomasso DeRosa)
A few months ago I received an invitation in my email to attend a screening of the newest film from Ken Burns: The Tenth Inning. The event was taking place in New York City at the end of July and it seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I could not pass up. For the past 18 months I have been working with Michael Welt from Florentine Films, helping him with photographs they needed to illustrate the film. Once the final editing was done I found out that many of my pictures were in the film. I was so excited to see how they were used I just had to go to New York. As an added bonus I checked the baseball schedule and saw that the New York Yankees had two day games at home a few days before the screening. Everything was coming together. I could go to New York a few days early to shoot some baseball, visit some friends, and see the film. If only I could bring the mild Bay Area weather with me.
Having the chance to shoot back-to-back games at the new Yankee Stadium during the daytime is a dream I have had for many years. I have been at both the old and new ballparks in the Bronx for many World Series games, but never during the regular season. I am usually so busy shooting baseball here at home that it is difficult for me to get away during the summer. This trip would be a big breakthrough for me as I bypassed the White Sox and A’s in Oakland in exchange for shooting the Royals and Yankees in the Bronx. There is something truly magical about the pinstriped uniforms the Yankees wear at home. I have photographed them many times on the road, but the gray uniforms just don’t pack the same wallop that the stripes do. In my quest do document the game of baseball during this era I had to have good pictures of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and other Yankee greats playing in the pinstripes in Yankee Stadium during the daytime. This would be my big chance.
I woke up Saturday morning before the first game freaking out about the weather. Forecasts called for temperatures near the 100 degree mark. Add some east coast humidity to the equation and combine that with working on the field in a concrete dugout while standing for a three hour ballgame spelled an uncomfortable day. I decided to drink water nonstop before and during the game, and armed with a few towels from the Marriott Marquis I was ready to battle the oppressive heat. By the time the game reached the 5th inning the temperature on the field reach 120 degrees in the third base photo well. I ended up doing OK in the crazy weather and had a permanent smile on my face throughout the ballgame, no doubt driving the local shooters crazy. This was just another day at work for most of them, but for me it was an awesome working vacation.
Things cooled off a little bit for my second game on Sunday, and by around 3pm the skies got really dark and then a driving rainstorm blew through causing a rain delay of close to three hours. During my two days at Yankee Stadium I was able to withstand all the elements and still come up with some really nice pictures for my archive. By the time I finished editing, captioning and uploading all my images in my hotel room late Sunday night I was thrilled that I had the chance to shoot the 2009 World Series Champions in their home ballpark.
The rest of my trip went well as I visited with many friends and clients, but the best part of the trip was saved for last. On Tuesday night, July 27 my good friend Paul Cunningham (maker of handcrafted leather baseballs and footballs) joined me at Florence Gould Hall near Central Park for the screening of the 10th Inning by Ken Burns. The film was terrific and I cannot tell you how fun it was to see the “Ken Burns effect” done on some of my pictures in the film! After meeting Burns at the post-game reception Paul and I walked over to Mickey Mantles for a drink and a late dinner. What a perfect way to end my trip. Baseball has been very, very good to me.