The Hit

High School Baseball Game, 2006

From my series 'Someplace Else'. Inherent in life around us, is the possibility of making iconic images, planned or unplanned. I stopped on the way to the hardware store to pick up some things I needed for a project I was working on. One reason to always have your camera gear with you is because you just never know what you might come across between here and there.

This high school baseball game was being played on a field fairly close to my home. I didn't have any kids on the team nor attending high school but it was a beautiful spring afternoon and the light was crisp, the uniforms bright white, and the field a rich green that I decided to stop and photograph. Almost always when I am out in public spaces, people want to know what paper am I from? When I tell them that I am working for myself, there is an immediate moment of disappointment as the person is really asking if there is a chance if they or their child might become famous for a day and whether a photo might appear in the local newspaper. Some days, I wish I was from the local paper or working for ESPN and getting paid for watching and working an irrelevant baseball game that almost no one playing or attending will remember tomorrow and much less in 6 months. Kids are kind of brainwashed to believe that their best effort in a sport will yield a step to stardom, a memorable moment in their lives forever tied to the game they are playing. Besides the momentary yelling and high fiving for making a hit, striking out a batter, or scoring a winning run, this game most often stops right there in every one of the player's shared history unless someone is documenting it. The chance that an athlete playing on the field will eventually go on to Division 3 and subsequently into professional baseball is a rare feat in of itself.

Maybe reality has tempered my expectations of what's possible and knowing that luck and talent travels only so far in one's life. But you know, if it was me who hit that ball and I thought that I could make it to first if I ran flat out for 3-5 seconds, you can be sure, I would run my ass off as fast I could too.