2013 World Series: Game 6
Posted on October 31, 2013
Koji Uehara #19 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 to win the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB)
Well that was fun. Special events like last night’s Game 6 of the World Series at Fenway Park in Boston make me really appreciate how lucky I am to be a photographer.
Entering last night’s game the Red Sox held a three games to two advantage over the Cardinals. A win by the Red Sox would clinch their third World Series crown in the last nine years. It would also mark the first time they had won a title at home since 1918. This had a chance to be a very special night at the ballpark.
When our crew from MLB Photos got the Fenway Park around four and a half hours before the first pitch there was an air of electricity around the park that was not there last week for Games 1 and 2. The fans were everywhere and the buzz was off the charts. This was not a typical October 30th in Boston.
Official White House photographer Pete Souza was in town with his boss yesterday for a fund raising event late in the afternoon, so he came by the park around 5pm to enjoy the chance of seeing his favorite team win it all in person for the first time. It was great having Pete hang out with us. He has so many fans it was a great chance for photographers to chat with him on the field in a relaxed setting before the game.
Just like Game 2 I was shooting from the awesome inside first base position in the low photo boxes that are only used for postseason play at Fenway. By the time the game started I was pretty jacked up. If the Red Sox won we would have the chance to make some great celebratory photographs. If the Cardinals won we would have a Game 7 tonight. Either way I could not lose.
When Shane Victorino bashed a 3-run bases-loaded triple off the Green Monster in the bottom of the third inning to put the Red Sox up 3-0 it seemed like the all of the air had been let out of the Cardinals balloon. Pretty soon it was 6-0 and with John Lackey hurling a gem all of the drama had been taken out of the game. The countdown to the celebration had begun for Red Sox fans in the park and all over New England.
Whenever a World Series is about to end you start to get a little nervous. The entire season of shooting baseball, starting way back in Arizona in late February, comes down to this. You need to make at least one good frame of the winning team celebrating. Some clinching games are more important than others. When you have a team like the Red Sox clinching a title at Fenway Park you are talking a whole new level of history than say the Miami Marlins winning in their dome.
I imagined an end of game picture from my angle with the Green Monster in the background. I wanted to shoot the picture loose with the 70-200mm zoom horizontal so I could show off the ballpark and allow fans to realize that the game was played at Fenway Park. When Red Sox closer Koji Uehara recorded the final out and began to celebrate I got my wish (see top).
Once I was done on the field after the game my assignment was to go into the Sox clubhouse to try and get a few decent pictures of the champagne celebration. Armed with my trusty rain cover for my camera, short zoom, and strobe I was ready to battle the masses of hangers on and media frauds to try and get close to some of the players to make sharp, usable pictures before they ran out of bubbly. Easier said than done!
Once I got into the clubhouse I started looking for some of the star players so I could make pictures that meant something. That was not too hard, but my next task became impossible. I needed a picture of the players celebrating with the trophy. So did all the other photographers crammed into the clubhouse in this small building that was constructed over 100 years ago. Where the Hell was the trophy?
The trophy was in the managers office surround by dozens of friends, family, and frauds of the Red Sox ownership group taking pictures, one by one, with the trophy. This is a trend I have seen in recent years were owners think it is all about them and keep the players from celebrating with the trophy that was won on the field, not on a luxury site. Awful.
I waited a long time for the trophy to come out, but I finally gave up at around 1am. I was wet, sticky, and tired. I was also very happy. Our crew from MLB Photos did a terrific job covering this Series. I had the chance to work with an amazing group of photographers: Ron Vesely, Rob Tringali, and David Durochik. Incredible pros who helped make covering this Series so enjoyable. This Series marked my 14th straight year of covering the Fall Classic for MLB Photos. It has been a thrill and an honor to witness so much history in the last decade and a half.
We left the park till around 2:30am, but not before conversation started between myself and my baseball picture editor at Sports Illustrated, Nate Gordon, about spring training next year. We are baseball people. We are always talking about the game, and always looking forward to our next chance to enjoy the game, be it at Scottsdale Stadium or Fenway Park.
Right now I am looking forward to getting home later tonight so I can take a few days off, hang out with my cats Mike and Willie, and get caught up on some awesome reality television. Thanks for following my fun journey covering the 2013 World Series!