Monarchs vs. Phillies in Mill Valley
Posted on May 8, 2018
The Mill Valley Little League Monarchs have fun before their game against the Phillies at Boyle Park in Mill Valley, California on May 5, 2018. (Photo by Brad Mangin)
Saturday afternoon I made my sixth annual drive to one of the prettiest little baseball diamonds I know. Historic Boyle Park in Mill Valley, California. I went to photograph the 4:30 pm game between the KC Monarchs and the Phillies. The Monarchs are managed by my good friend and three-time co-author Brian Murphy, who is in his sixth season piloting his son Declan’s ballclub. They were the Hot Rods in past seasons, and this is the second year they are honoring the great tradition of the fabled Kansas City Monarchs from the Negro Leagues. You can see how much fun I had shooting the Monarchs last season here.
I first shot the Hot Rods in 2013 and had such a great time I came back for more in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The pictures are always fabulous. Each year I do my best to get as many good pictures as I can of each player. I then upload the edited pictures into a PhotoShelter gallery and allow the parents to download the image files for free so they can do whatever they want with the pictures.
Every time I shoot one of these games I get different stuff, and this game got off to an amazing start 45 minutes before the first pitch when coach Murphy gathered his squad under the trees beyond left field for a motivational speech derived from the movie Caddy Shack. Don’t worry parents it was G rated and proved to be quite effective. The set of pictures I made in the shade of the big trees, including some fun team pictures, made my day a success before the first Monarch stepped into the batter’s box in the top of the 1st inning.
I have shot so many times at this great little park, so once the game started I decided to change things up and shoot from the outfield to give my pictures a different look. I usually try and get good batting pictures of each player by shooting them swinging the bat from either first or third base. This year I did some shooting from right field and left field behind the outfield fence, giving me the cool view with the catcher and umpire in the background and a real good look at the ballplayer’s faces when they hit the ball and follow through with their swings. As usual some of the pictures worked out better than others. Overall I was happy with many of the frames I got from the outfield on Saturday, especially the different looks I got towards the dugout and the bases.
Following are a bunch of my favorite images from the ball game. I hope you enjoy them.
Thanks to all of the Monarchs and their parents for letting me photograph them again this season, and thanks to Murph for inviting me and my cameras to Boyle Park. It is so cool to get to know more and more of the parents each year, as some of them have boys I have photographed six years in a row. The kindness these parents show me is very heartwarming. Being able to make their Little Leaguers look like Big Leaguers is a special talent I have, and I am so glad I can share it with these wonderful people.
Young Rory Murphy is enjoying his second season as a six-year-old in Mill Valley this season, so I will be making another drive north very soon to shoot Rory and his teammates suiting up for the… Chihuahuas!