The Kansas City Royals: Ya gotta like these kids!
Posted on September 8, 2011
Eric Hosmer #35 and Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals get ready in the dugout before the game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on September 5, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)
As the dog days of August melt into the stretch drive of September it can get tougher and tougher to trudge out to the ballpark and get excited about shooting a couple of bad teams like the Royals and A’s. This week’s schedule saw the two sub-.500 teams squaring off in two days games and believe it or not I was excited. Why you might ask? Because the Royals come to town with some of the best young talent in all of baseball. I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity by trying to capture their youthful energy at the Coliseum in Oakland.
There are many great things about shooting baseball in September. The light is great. There are fewer photographers (many are off shooting football). The teams who are out of the race are super loose, allowing for some fun moments before the game in the dugout. Luckily for them my friend Michael Zagaris and I are there to capture the fun on film. I mean on a card! Between the two games I shot this week I am very happy with the pictures I was able to get of the Royals before the game- especially the young phenoms.
Coming into Monday’s game I knew there were three kids I needed to shoot heavily: First baseman Eric Hosmer; 3rd baseman Mike Moustakas; and catcher Salvador Perez. I had seen both Hosmer and Moustakas in spring training in Arizona, but I had never seen Perez. What a great-looking young catcher he is! I can’t believe he is only 21-years-old. My main goal before Monday’s game was to hang around the Royals dugout before the game and try to get some pictures of the guys hanging out and goofing around. I was not disappointed!
Sure, I shot anyone who did anything interesting, even if they were a scrub. But while I was doing this the youngsters I really needed delivered by participating in some fun with their teammates, giving me the chance to come up with some pictures I really liked. Most of the guys seemed to enjoy having their picture taken, and many of them posed for our cameras. After all, they are just playing a game and they are so far out of the race they can afford to be loose. This is good for us as it makes our jobs much easier.
Yesterday’s pre-game antics in the Royals dugout were just as good as Monday’s, and as Zagaris and I were busy having fun it all ended very abruptly. Royals manager Ned Yost came up to us and started yelling. “We got a game to play!” Yost bellowed. I ran one way and Zagaris went the other way but it didn’t matter. We had our pictures. We were happy.