Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Those double whammies will get you every time

I don't know what it is about covering Major League, College and high school baseball games where the umpires seem to have this uncanny knack of getting into the way, not just once during a game, but most of the time.

In the past this has been a topic of discussion among photographers shooting from the photography wells and this year, it's no exception.  Why do the umpires have to run all the way out into the outfields and right into the line of sight between us and the players, thus blocking out leaping catches, dropped balls, colliding players and such? Is this a rule posted in the umpires handbook? Rule 101 - Always, if possible, block the photographers view in significant plays at home plate and elsewhere on the field.

I thought I had captured a great series of photos taken Saturday in the WIAA 3A State high school championship game between O'Dea and Camas of a play at home plate, so I thought. Not only did the first base coach, who was running towards home plate block me out, but I received that "double whammy" when the umpire moved into the frame as well.

After yelling at the coach and informing him as to why there are painted white lines in shape of a box along the first and third base lines and they are suppose to stay either near or in the box areas, not run up and down the sidelines. "He replied, "Hey, sorry, I just got excited!" Commenting to the other photographers present, I mentioned, "Well think of all the readers who aren't going to see a capture of a significant play at home plate, but will instead see the coaches backside running down the baseline."

However, in spite of having to shoot through all the moving objects, I was able to capture one frame of the catcher's reaction when he closed his eyes after the home plate umpire called the base runner safe.

Goes to show you, there's one thing for certain, "those double whammies" will get you ever time.

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