Whoops. Been a while since I checked in here, hasn’t it? I had the best of intentions for regular updates, but some family health issues derailed me from posting… but not from shooting!
The website itself is close to up to date as far as shots I’ve edited, though individual dates aren’t completed (i.e. when I personally am granted nine-day weeks, while the rest of you keep getting seven, I will catch up). There’s a What’s New page to collect the photos where I’m not ready for full pages yet!
In the meantime, let me try to get back in the groove with a two-month summary of sorts!
Made the trip to Citi Field in New York to see the Mets host the Sox. Unfortunately Citi’s camera policies as stated (if perhaps not as practiced, as it turns out) were very restrictive, so I had to make do with Son of Babycam, my little Lumix.
Pedroia apparently trash-talked his way around the bases, to the amusement of Jose Reyes.
April 7 brought our long-awaited Opening Day!
Johnny Pesky made an elegant Opening Day entrance…
… Dustin Pedroia, maybe a little less so.
But some old lions made an entrance of their own!
Had my first emergency ticket purchase for April 17, when Hunter Jones got the call to the big leagues. Got some nice shots that night, even if Hunter never left the bullpen.
(he did get to stand in the outfield!)
And here I go with the opposition again: Brian Roberts…
… and Luke Scott.
Dustin Pedroia levitates. (Watch Dustin on base–he bounces on his lead. Side-side-side-UP!)
Brad Penny ponders.
Nick Green smolders. (He’d earned it–he’d just tied the game.)
Next came a trip to Pawtucket on April 18.
Fernando Cabrera. (If you need to pick out Cabrera, look for the tall, alarmingly handsome righty who looks like a movie heartthrob preparing to play a minor league pitcher.)
Back to Fenway on April 20!
Justin Masterson nearly took out Ryan Freel with a pickoff throw.
Chris Carter keeps his eye on the ball.
And I got to be there for Hunter’s debut after all!
I’ll continue the tale tomorrow!
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?)
January always seems to be the low point of the offseason; the holidays are over, the distractions are gone, and weeks of cold and snow remain before pitchers and catchers report. But we have our ways of coping!
Here in Boston, the Boston Baseball Writers‘ dinner has been a beacon of hope, a promise that baseball and spring will come along in time. Hot Stove Cool Music brings both a roundtable discussion of baseball and a concert or two. The Jimmy Fund has now put on four events as “New Stars for Young Stars” to raise funds to combat cancer. In conjunction with the Red Sox Rookie Development program, the Team Store holds a signing event that brings in money for the Red Sox Foundation while showing the rookies what lies ahead for them in terms of us crazy fans. Throw in team dinners for the Spinners and Sea Dogs, and January’s not such a bleak month at all!
Here are a few of my shots from the BBWAA dinner on Thursday, January 8:
Dustin Pedroia laughs.
Jim Rice chuckles.
Sean Casey with a real smile…
… and a posed one, as Jeff Bailey signs. (Thumbs up for Bailey’s silver vest and tie!)
A highlight of the evening was the confirmation that Rocco Baldelli had signed with the Red Sox for 2009.
Rocco got his standing O’s, but for certain, the hope that Jim Ed Rice will be voted into the Hall of Fame on Monday got the crowd up and yelling, too!
On Friday, January 9, we reluctantly passed on the Sea Dogs dinner to go to Foxboro to see Bronson Arroyo and his band play. Sadly, I have no photos of Bronson, Elan Trotman or the fine band, because Showcase Live security decided I had a professional camera which could not be allowed into the hall. I wish. Trust me, I wish. But I’m old enough to know that security folks are folks you don’t argue with. Also sadly, this necessitated missing the Team Store signing. The things I’ll do for my friends and a lanky blond righty…
… But fortunately the rookies were out again as Saturday, January 10 brought this year’s edition of New Stars for Young Stars:
Josh Reddick and Daniel Bard.
Lars Anderson. “Hey, can you get that flash any brighter?” (I’m admittedly not very good with the flash, but Jillian’s is a tough place to shoot: all bright windows and dark corners!)
Justin Mas–hey, wait a minute…
And that’s not Michael Bowden!
Now correctly labeled, Michael Bowden feigns innocence while Justin Masterson acts like he has no idea what just happened. ^_^
I’m not sure Tito’s either a new star or a young star, but we love him regardless!
NO TRADING. Do you hear me, Theo? Keep these guys. NO TRADING.
George Kottaras with a dubious look.
Jason Place, another victim of my over-aggressive flash.
Meanwhile, back behind the official New Stars roster, the rest of the Rookie Development Program participants got to bowl a few games!
Mark Wagner. (I got to chat with Mark for a while–very friendly, personable guy. One of the best things about meeting the pups in the minors is that you find folks you really, really want to see succeed, and this was a terrific group.)
Kris Johnson. Memo for next year: more bowling shots!
Argenis Diaz graciously indulges me in my quest to get one of them eating ice cream!
It’s snowing in Boston right now, but after the last few days, I can almost feel that Florida sun!
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I’m a firm believer that any fan who blogs, or even posts on
a message board, should do so to express his or her own thoughts. And as a result, I’m sometimes hesitant to
comment even on the thoughts of people I know personally when I think they’re
out and out wrong. I find that October,
in addition to bringing pumpkins, bats (the flying kind) and the scent of
burning leaves in the air, seems to find me spending a lot of time biting my
Allow me, then, to use my own blog for the purpose for which
it was intended.
I really respect the Rays.
And I’m sick of Boston
fans bashing them.
First of all, I’m tired of Boston fans complaining about Rays fans. You know what? The vast majority of Red Sox fans I know were
born into it. They’ve been following the
Sox for as long as they can remember; they had family members and friends to
nurture that commitment all along. Even
latecomers to Red Sox Nation had history to draw on, so much to know and
appreciate about the team before pledging undying devotion. Rays fans have never had that. They’re a relatively new franchise, and they
started under the cloud of an owner whom Jerry Remy just called, if I heard
correctly, “a despicable human being.” You
want to call Rays fans “bandwagon” fans, Red Sox Nation? You’re looking at a fan base pulling
themselves up by their bootstraps when you started off two thirds of the way up
And I don’t see how Sox fans, beneficiaries of two rings in
the preceding four seasons, can be so surprised that the rest of public
sentiment falls to the underdog Rays. If
you’ve ever spoken of the Yankees’ payroll, don’t be surprised that Tampa’s vs. Boston’s
comes up in the discussion!
The fight with Coco? Coco had a point, believe me–but if you don’t think the Red Sox don’t have passionate enforcers who would have taken some shots at another team’s hothead (I say that endearingly) who charged one of our pitchers, then you’re crazy.
Yeah, I don’t like the cowbells any more than you do; but in
the context of what’s done at parks across the nation to get the fans to make
noise, I’m not sure it’s as horrific as it seems.
I love Joe Maddon. I
believe in managers for teams. I think
Terry Francona is perfectly placed with his front office and his team. I think Joe Girardi may never find a better
match than his team of baby Marlins. And
I think Maddon is both a fascinating and delightful guy and an unsurpassed motivator
for a team that had to find a way to put it together to achieve.
And I really like the Rays themselves, which has been evident in my shooting!
Carlos Pena, of course
After losing an argument–Pedie was safe, to Aki’s chagrin!
Playing Twister with J.D. Drew
After years in which facing the Yankees brought bad blood from all sides, it’s refreshing to me that this year we have two talented teams vying for the right to represent the American League in the World Series. Whoever wins will have earned it. I hope it’s my beloved Red Sox. But if the Rays should triumph, I’ll support them wholeheartedly, and I’ll hope they take home the biggest October prize of them all.
And no, I don’t mean the recent struggles of the Red Sox!
Sure, September down-to-the-wire pennant races are exciting… in theory. In reality, they’re excruciating ulcer-provoking exercises in slow-motion surgical dissection of your hearts. And I would say that even if we hadn’t just lost a heartbreaker and a heartstomper in Tampa Bay.
So let’s take a look instead at a lighthearted rite of fall: rookie hazing!
I’d never had a chance to stake out the Red Sox before, and I suspect Cla Meredith
and Paul McAnulty
would be happy if I could say the same about the Padres! (those from September 2006.)
But this year I was prepared to stake out the buses for the Red Sox as they headed out for their last road trip! I expected, of course, to learn just a little more about our rookies–whether they could carry off spaghetti straps, for example. But who knew I would learn so much about High School Musical?
Pitcher Chris Smith. Really, if you went shopping for a dress for Chris I don’t think you could do better. Fit perfectly and showed off his legs to perfection!
That’s Jeff Bailey back behind Chris. Not sure the cheerleader outfit is what I would have chosen, but I always did like Jeff a little scruffy, so the hair works!
Blonde ringlets and hairy cleavage. Does it get better?
I had high hopes for Justin Masterson–surely, surely he’d be in a wig, yes?–and have to confess some disappointment with his outfit. I was greatly heartened when he expressed a similar sentiment–that the guys in skirts were having all the fun–to Dan Roche!
George Kottaras managed to hide behind security, but fortunately he couldn’t hide his face and his new chest at the same time!
Jonathan Van Every. When we first met Jonathan back at the PawSox Hot Stove Party, I can’t say I was aware of hiw much I’d enjoy seeing him in a skirt. Another tidbit from Dan Roche: JV himself realized he’d look better in the ponytail! I’m sure he’d have found better shoes if he’d been able, too.
Devern Hansack (and Dave Pauley, who had the same outfit) pretty much lucked out. On the other hand, Devern’s done this three times, so I think he earned the right to wear shorts!
Not so easy walking around with those things, huh, JV?
Jed Lowrie. It’s amazing to me how different he looks in this wig!
Speaking of wigs… Chris Carter makes a rather striking dark-rooted blonde!
Check out my LiveJournal post if you want to know who’s who in the world of High School Musical, thanks to my readers! And check out WBZ for video! (You might need to poke around a bit, but there are at least three clips.)
Road trips and off days… in some ways they make me restless, since I can’t pick up the cameras. But since I’m always, always behind on editing, it does give me a chance to try to catch up! So if you will, let’s set the wayback machine for June 15, in Cincinnati…
A beautiful Sunday morning! Justin Masterson smiles at Daisuke Matsuzaka wielding a bat.
More smiling! Jacoby Ellsbury with some warmup throws.
It’s officially an epidemic! Sean Casey with a big grin. One of my favorite things about seeing the Red Sox on the road is actually what I’m documenting here: a full BP session, which usually starts with stretching and joking around.
Mike Lowell continues my theme.
Manny and Alex Gonzalez. I miss Gonzo.
… Does Gonzo miss me?
Well, he gave me my belly shot!
Looking at these then, I was nostalgic for these two as teammates; now there’s a different edge with Manny gone.
Bronson Arroyo inspects Coco’s cornrows. Sorry, Bronson, he’s got you beat there!
Justin fields a tough hop. (He seems to have a tough audience back there, but you’ll notice that they’re all far enough out not to have to do much!)
Whoops–looks like Justin’s got critics in the infield, too!
I can’t tell if Kevin Cash is laughing with Dustin Pedroia, or at him!
More nostalgia, since Brandon Moss now calls Pittsburgh home.
Bartolo Colon, not satisfied with three balls in hand, goes for a fourth.
Dusty Baker’s son threw out the first pitch. (Dusty tried to leave him out there too long, of course.)
Uh oh. The real action is starting, and Mike Timlin will not smile.
There’s a part of my heart reserved for players I ought not to have any connection to, like Homer Bailey. I just like the kid.
Ells with a successful slide into second. It’s hard to shoot anything else when he’s on base!
Josh Beckett on the mound.
Mmmmmmm… Jason Varitek samples his batting gloves.
Coco Crisp with a biiiig swing…
… followed by a nice lope around the bases…
… and a helmet skritchie from Tek.
Not to be outdone is Jacoby…
… with a big swing and a lope of his own!
Tek in his Father’s Day accented gear. I’m sure you’ve noticed the ribbons and the blue eye “black.”
Pedie has a big swing to end all big swings…
… but it won’t be quite enough this time.
Josh Beckett at the plate. I was hoping for a home run…
… but had to settle for Coco looking philosophical about being left on base.
More laughter! And here a little sympathy for Julio Lugo, despite my love for Jed Lowrie.
I admire many things about Jacoby Ellsbury’s game, but there just no point in denying that he’s alarmingly photogenic, too.
David Aardsma. Note that it gets a bit easier to shoot this angle when the fans thin out a bit.
A skip ahead to postgame; Manny attempts some unexpected therapeutic massage on Colon, with a baseball.
Have I been busted? Javy Lopez smirks, Gary Tuck smiles, Craig Hansen… well, hang in there, Craig, in six weeks you’ll be safe from me!
Thursday, at the trade deadline, I could feel a whirlwind of emotions. Relief that there was resolution. Shock that there had really been a trade (my heart knew it had to happen, but my head thought the deal would never go through). Apprehension at a team without Manny. And anticipation to see what we had in Jason Bay.
I had a ticket for Friday night, and while I was a bit disappointed I hadn’t had one for what turned out to be Manny’s last game, I was very happy to have one for Jay Bay’s first!
I was delighted to see that there were already T-shirts for sale–and already people wearing them! Not to mention one young man in a Sox hat and a Bay Pirates jersey.
It had to be overwhelming for him, but he already seemed to take it in stride.
And I was very moved to be part of the first ovations for him. I’d been a little anxious about the fan response, but it was a magnificent showing of the best that Boston has to offer. And he himself looked both moved and a touch uncomfortable, in a very endearing way, to be receiving accolades before he’d even had a chance to show what he could do.
Accidentally shot with the shutter speed too slow, but I kinda liked the effect!
Oof! Well, it’s one way to get on base…
Of course, he went to score the first run–the one that looked like it might be enough, especially if we had good defense…
…like the kind he showed on a magnificent sliding catch, for which he’s getting a pat from Lowrie here. And it was at that moment that I realized I was smitten, in a baseball sense.
Perhaps it would have been the perfect capper if the ball he hit high off the Monster had cleared it, but as a longtime fan of Jed Lowrie, I guess I’m not sorry that they could both celebrate!
I couldn’t be at the park for Saturday’s heroics, though I did see Sean Casey that day and he was effusive in his praise of Jay Bay. But I was back at the park Sunday, in my brand new Bay 44 shirt!
Youk pointing something out. I’d like to think it’s the hawk. “And if you see that… just make sure it’s not carrying its lunch. Sometimes it likes to… share.”
Pregame warming up.
I took a shot like this Friday but he looks much better here; it could be a better seat and better light, but I’d like to think it’s my growing affection!
At the risk of undermining my baseball credibility, I have to note that Jay Bay’s got a very nice, er, stance.
Too late, Rob Bowen!
We’re no strangers to embracing new players midyear in Boston, of course; 2004 is enduring testimony to that! But I’m a little surprised myself by how happy I am to have Jay Bay in the fold. No, I don’t think we’re going to win out the rest of the way, of course. But it’s funny how a solid, capable, down-to-earth guy has made my Sox-loving heart soar again.
now the radio stutters. snaps to life.
some sour song that sets it right.
and when London falls
he’d like to call
but the stars collide.
they’re beautiful and much maligned.
in a universe where you see the worst,
and it’s up to you to fix it.
I’ve written before of my mixed feelings about Manny Ramirez, but it certainly seemed to me that over the last few weeks the pendulum swung very, very far toward the “tired of Manny” end. And in the last days, I couldn’t envision any scenario in which the Sox didn’t trade Manny. So I battened down the hatches, said my prayers over the players I least wanted to lose in the collateral damage (including you, Mr. Masterson, and you, Mr. Bowden), and held my breath. As everyone knows, as the minutes ticked by it looked less and less likely that a deal would happen, but as with the Nomar trade in 2004, the word finally broke after the deadline, and Manny was gone.
What’s hard for me to understand is that no few media people reported that for the first part of this year, Manny was as happy as they’d ever seen him–and my photos seemed to bear that out.
Opening Day: why high five when you can touch fingertips? April 8, 2008.
Cavorting with Youk, pregame, April 13, 2008.
With the two teammates I think were best for him: Lugo and Papi.
Getting into it Manny-style with the Royals, May 22, 2008.
Home Run #500 in Baltimore, May 31, 2008.
June 3, 2008.
“What do you mean you got traded?” Cincinnati, June 14, 2008.
With Alex Gonzalez, Cincinnati, June 15, 2008.
After Youk’s grand slam, making light of their supposed issues, July 12, 2008.
I can’t help but think that Scott Boras had something to do with this relatively dramatic change. After all, Manny’s new agent wouldn’t have been in line for a payday if the Red Sox picked up Manny’s option, and what better way to make sure Manny made sure he wasn’t wanted than to make him think he was disrespected?
Regardless of why things broke down so irrevocably, it wasn’t just Manny who experienced the consequences. Manny’s off to Los Angeles, but two of my favorite youngsters are off to Pittsburgh.
If you’ve checked out sittingstill.net in the past, you’ve probably noticed that Craig Hansen has been a favorite photo target of mine. I couldn’t help it; I’m not sure I can think of another player where I think my snaps are so much better than anything out there from the pros!
September 25, 2005
March 15, 2006
With Paps, July 31, 2006.
March 3, 2007
May 30, 2008
July 9, 2008
I did shoot him pitching too, honest. But of course, he struggled a bit. He was probably brought up too fast in 2006, and it seemed to me that the resultant up-and-down year, plus some tweaking the Sox tried to do with his mechanics, left him not knowing which way was up. Spending all of 2007 in Pawtucket seemed to be the right plan, and he did pitch well, if inconsistently, for the Sox this year. My hope for him is that a fresh start and the National League work some Cla Meredith-like magic for him.
And we also lost Brandon Moss.
March 7, 2007.
Wreaking havoc with the Fenway scoreboard, September 2, 2007.
Defeating Mirabelli in rock-paper-scissors, September 11, 2007.
Collecting his World Series ring, April 19, 2008.
Evading man-monster Richie Sexson, June 8, 2008.
My hope for Mossy is that, like David Murphy, a new team will provide new opportunities, and he’ll stick on the major league roster. He’s been one of the nicest players I’ve ever had a chance to chat with; Dan Hoard, one of the PawSox radio guys, named him with Sean Casey, David Murphy, and David Pauley as members of the all-time list of nicest professional athletes. I know good character doesn’t always translate to success in the big leagues, but I hope that in this case he looks back at today as a positive turning point in solid career.
Jason Bay… better put your best face on tomorrow night. You’ve got a big role to fill, but I promise I’ll always try to catch you in good light.
Throughout the history of sittingstill.net there have been players who have played major roles in my photography and in the site’s character, though they’ll likely never know it. And as another July draws toward a trade deadline close, and I develop my yearly ulcer worrying about the names that get bandied about, I keep coming back to pitching prospect Michael Bowden.
March 9, 2007
The first time I saw Bowden pitch was my last day at Spring Training in 2007. There was no Sox game the day we flew out, so we decided to hit the minor league complex before heading to the airport. This was my first trip to the complex, and I had had no idea how much fun it would be. Players of all levels, everywhere! We watched some workouts, and then they called together a minigame where Clay Buchholz pitched against Michael Bowden. And I knew, instantly, that this would be a day I’d never forget.
By this time I had a full week under my belt with the new Canon, and the only challenge I had was finding clear shots through the openings in the chain link fence! Everything else was ideal–the bright sun, the chance to run around for different angles, the pitchers I’d read so much about and was dying to see.
While Bowden was on the mound I went to the far end of the “dugout” on the third base line. When he finished the inning, he and the pitching coach came right to where I was. It’s relatively rare that you get to see a pitcher up close right off the mound. I’ve never been so aware of what work pitching is as seeing Bowden walk in, in the Florida heat, flushed and breathing heavily–and unhappy with himself. The coach was telling him he was hitting his spots, but he was clearly not pleased with his results. It was at that point that both Bowden and the coach seemed to realize I was there. The coach shot me a look that said “I’m not sure you should be this close.” And Bowden shot me a look that said–well, “said” is the wrong word; you’d need a wordless visual, say, a volcano exploding in flaming lava. It suddenly seemed like a really good idea to shoot from the first base line. And perhaps to run to get there!
Terrified or no, I had a great day of shooting, and when I got home and posted photos, the minor league shots were so well received that I realized I had another calling. I’d already found that the sorts of photos I enjoyed taking of the major leaguers were the candids, the offbeat shots, the ones not being published in most media–but there was hardly anything being published of the minor leaguers at all. While I had fewer opportunities to see games in the minors, I tried harder to shoot when I went to Pawtucket, or when call-ups had their first looks at Fenway, either with the big club or at Futures at Fenway (where the starter for Portland in 2007 was none other than Michael Bowden!).
August 11, 2007
And this year at Spring Training I tried hard to document as many different players as I could–including young Mr. Bowden, of course!
With Kyle Snyder and Justin Masterson, March 2, 2008
March 3, 2008
With Justin Masterson, March 6, 2008
March 7, 2008
March 8, 2008
But over the offseason, I also had a few chances to encounter him in very different settings. First was at New Stars for Young Stars, at which he could not have been more charming and gave me no impression at all that he might possibly kill me with a look alone.
Next, he was one of the players tapped for the Rookie Development Program, all of whom signed for the adoring masses who filled the Team Store. And finally, he appeared at McCoy Stadium for the PawSox Hot Stove party, foreshadowing what we all supposed would be a midyear callup from Portland.
With Jed Lowrie, January 19, 2008
He put up terrific numbers with the Sea Dogs this year: an ERA of 2.33, K/9 rate of 8.71, K/BB 4.21, WHIP of 0.92 with batters hitting .192 against him. I suspect he was held in Portland until midseason in order to earn his All-Star selection and sort some things out with the PawSox roster. But as I expected, he got his mid-July call. His first start, sadly for me, was on the road (though we did get to see him in uniform on July 20).
July 20, 2008
And it may not have been the debut he’d hoped for, giving up 3 runs in 4 innings–but I suspect he’s glad to have it out of the way.
As I could have told you from my first encounter with him, Bowden’s extremely intense on the mound, and it’s hard to find a piece about him that doesn’t refer both to his competitive fire and to his love of baseball. The Sox sent him to API last offseason, and while I could never see where Clay Buchholz supposedly added those ten pounds, Bowden certainly looked more powerful this year. And his early struggles in Portland this year, followed by the hard work and breakthrough that led to a dazzling string of games, encourage me that he’ll make the adjustment to AAA and then to the majors. Like Justin Masterson, he’s a young pitcher I not only believe in but want to believe in. For now, I’m looking forward to seeing–and shooting!–him in Pawtucket!
The first real win is in the books, and my login here finally works again! Thought I’d celebrate by posting a few smiles I captured down in Fort Myers this spring…
Dave Pauley, cheerful even between laps.
Brandon Moss, one of today’s heroes, shares a laugh with one of the college players.
Even Mike Timlin smiles!
Javier Lopez, Kyle Snyder, and Bryan Corey make light work of shagging BP flies.
Jason Varitek–not an easy smile to catch!
Julian Tavarez, whose inclinations toward on-field massage will have to be chronicled separately, and an amused Hideki Okajima.
Kyle Snyder, deserving of a second look!
Clay Buchholz, who was laughing as MDC teased the fans with a ball.
Jed Lowrie. (I can’t put all my smiling photos of Jed here; I’d run out of room.)
Finding himself between two of the best smiles on the roster–Coco Crisp and Justin Masterson–I’m sure Joe Thurston had no chance at all to stay solemn.
You can just barely see Bobby Kielty’s smile, I suspect it’s a mirror of Ron Johnson’s!
Jon Lester and Craig Hansen.
Justin Masterson, after a good pitch.
It seemed like a pretty good bet that Beckett wasn’t hurt too badly, since he left a lot of smiles in his wake!
Nick Hagadone appreciates the fun of the parachute run!