Back in the day, spring training wasn’t what it is now. Players didn’t train in the offseason–at best they worked second jobs, at worst, they ate and drank themselves out of shape. The start of spring training was more like rejoining an gym and restarting an exercise program. Now, of course, guys transform themselves at API and the like and come in rarin’ to go, only to spend interminable weeks playing two- or three-inning shifts, working up to the real deal.
But if you’re a photographer, and you’ve had no games to shoot since October, and you travel to Florida to gorge yourself on five or six hours a day of baseball for nine days straight… well, I feel like I’m doing the editing equivalent of trying not to pass out after running my first sprints!
We arrived in Florida February 25, missing the BC game at City of Palms but getting to Hammond in time for the official opener of Spring Training (not to mention the first game of the Mayor’s Cup!). Three trips to the minor league complex and seven games and change later (we made it through an inning and a half on Friday before the run to the airport), So it’ll take me a few weeks to get everything posted, but you’ll see…
The new, like Brad Penny
and John Smoltz
The fierce, like Jon Lester
The beautiful, like Manny Delcarmen
The indescribable, like Dustin Pedroia and Ron Johnson
And the shots that make me nervous, like George Kottaras pretending to take pictures of Dusty Brown.
(I mean, just because I had the huge lens trained on them doesn’t mean they saw me… right?)