Leaping Buster Posey in Sports Illustrated

Posted on October 19, 2012

Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants leaps high in the air to try and catch a wild pitch that bounced off the backstop against the Cincinnati Reds during NLDS Game 1 at AT&T Park on October 6, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

 

I have been having a great time covering baseball playoffs here in the Bay Area during the month of October. Between the A’s and Giants success I have been able to shoot seven home playoff games so far (three in Oakland, four in San Francisco) on assignment for Sports Illustrated. I have made a few pictures that I like and a few of them have actually been published in the magazine, like the one of Buster Posey above.

For the games in San Francisco I have been shooting in an awesome photo position that we created during the 2010 postseason. I am sitting on a small chair in an aisle in the front row of the Lexus Dugout Club at AT&T Park. From my spot I am shooting from the first base side of home plate looking down the third base line. It is a great spot and I have it all to myself, meaning I will get pictures no one else has. After all, that is always my goal.

This spot paid off a few weeks ago when I was shooting Game 1 of the NLDS  between the Reds and Giants. The Reds were beating the Giants in the 9th inning and Giants relief pitcher Santiago Casilla was throwing the ball all over the yard. He threw one wild pitch that bounced so hard off the backstop it headed right back to the mound with men on base. Posey leaped high in the air to try and stop the ball as it sailed back towards the infield. Luckily I was shooting the scene horizontal with my Canon 70-200mm 2.8 lens and my amazing Canon EOS-1DX camera. I got one frame that was kind of fun and different from any other baseball picture I had ever shot. My baseball picture editor at the magazine Nate Gordon thought it was kinda cool. The next morning he texted me.

“Hey what’s happening in that weird Posey picture?”

I texted him back what happened and he responded, “Cool picture.”

Nate is a great, tough editor and has pretty much seen everything, so I was happy he liked this. That was the last I heard of this picture till a few days later when my sister Paula texted me that the picture was in the magazine as a Leading Off. I had no idea! I texted Nate the next day telling him I owed him 100 beers. Normally if I get something like this published he tells me. Not this time.

“It’s good to get surprised once in awhile,” Nate said.

I couldn’t agree more!