On baseball and blogging
April 26, 2010
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Being a blogger for baseball is so weird. In the world of MLB, bloggers get zero respect as writers and photographers. Most of us don’t get paid, unless we run our own site and put ads on it. We don’t get access onto the field or to the players unless we happen to get a chance to meet them during batting practice – and if that happens, you have a second for an autograph and a quick greeting. I don’t want this to come off like I’m whining. I’m not. I am thrilled I have the opportunity to contribute at Bless You Boys and share my photos there and here on my tumblr. At the same time, thanks to the internet, we’ve found ways to get some version of back door access to information. Some players use twitter, “real” media guys do too. Minor leaguers will grant interviews from time to time. Parents and friends of players read everything they can get their hands on to see their loved ones’ names in print, and sometimes we hear from them too.
One of the Tiger outfielders was injured the other day so they called up a guy from the minors; along came Brennan Boesch, an unfamiliar face to most Tiger fans at the game but there was still a line for his autograph before Friday’s game. When I noticed it was almost time for lineups and that there was only one person left waiting to meet him, I ran over. IÂ congratulated Brennan on his promotion and welcomed him to The Show. It brought a smile to his face that was so genuine and adorable – IÂ could tell he was so happy to be getting his shot at the big time. He had gotten the call in the wee hours of the morning (apparently his phone was turned off, so the world knew before he even did) and arrived in Arlington only a few hours before the game. His parents managed to get a flight in from LA to see him play. In one of the photos I took of him after he got his first major league hit, he was looking up into the stands, maybe hoping to meet their gaze.
It’s these kinds of things I like to talk about, reflect in photographs, and call attention to. I am not an expert, and I know sometimes I sound like a brainless idiot when I gush about the players I find attractive; but I do my homework. I love the game. Beyond the stats, the streaks, and the slumps, I know that players grind through every day from March through October and never see their families. Before they make it to the big leagues, they spend years in the minor league systems, often not making enough money to afford a place to live (some teams give host families season tickets and other perks in exchange for housing players). Eventually, many of them are paid ridiculous amounts of money. But they aren’t machines; they’re human. They love the game and will do anything to be a part of it. Just like me, and every other fan.