Results tagged ‘ d-backs ’

Ye Olde Pitchers

Photograph by Jordan Megenhardt

In what’s becoming a ye olde spring training tradition, the pitching prospects that are in big league camp for the first time get to travel back in time (if only in their minds) and head out to the renaissance festival. Josh Collmenter, renaissance connoisseur, offered to be their guide. This year’s journeymen were; Trevor Bauer, Charles Brewer, Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin.

Photograph by Jordan Megenhardt

Earlier in the morning, at the team meeting, Sir Collmenter introduced himself and informed the young rookies of their later excursion.

Good sports indeed!

Pitching Prospects Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer

Photograph by Jordan Megenhardt
Pitchers and Catchers practiced for the first time out at Salt River Fields today. It was the first time that pitching prospects Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer were on hand this year. We snapped this photo, which will appear in the D-backs 2012 Media guide. Normally we would set something up ahead of time, bring out some lights and take a great portrait, but this photo was requested last minute. So, we threw a flash on the old 5d Mark II, found a nice backdrop, shot in raw, did a few tweaks in photoshop and there you have it! What do you think?
More photographs from the rest of the day are available for viewing in the gallery on dbacks.com, check em out!

All-Star Weekend Recap: Futures Game

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

We are gradually getting our All-Star week photos edited and ready to go. So, we figured as we get done with each take, we’ll share our photos and talk about the individual events. First up is the Futures Game, and we covered it extensively, as you’ll be able to see in this post. This was one of my favorite events to shoot during the weekend. The environment was a little more laid back and it was great seeing some of the game’s top prospects.

Hours before the game even began, we covered as much of what was going on as possible. We we’re lucky to have access to pretty much everything, a privilege that was not bestowed upon very many photographers. With that in mind, Jon was able to get some really nice images from inside the clubhouse.

Photo by Jon Willey

Photo by Jon Willey

During batting practice, the players mingled with each other and signed autographs for fans. Every one of them was happy to have the chance to participate in the game and it showed. I have never seen so many smiling and laughing ballplayers. And, with the access that we had, it was really easy to capture some great candid images.

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

And it wasn’t just prospects at the game, there we’re plenty of baseball legends around.

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

During the Team USA batting practice, the D-backs’ Paul Goldschmidt was grouped with Bryce Harper and ASU alum Jason Kipnis. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or if they planned it that way, but it was an amazing chance to see these three top prospects together. I made it a point to cover these guys as much as possible, and when it was their turn to hit in the cage, I was right there with them. And now, only a couple weeks later, both Goldschmidt and Kipnis are contributing for their Big League club.

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

The Futures Game provides a great opportunity for fans to get to know the All-Stars of tomorrow, and every year the game’s participants make it a priority to sign autographs for as many fans as they can.

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jon Willey

Once the game started, we covered it pretty much like it was a normal game. Here are some images from the game:

Photo by Jon Willey

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

Photo by Jon Willey

Photo by Jon Willey


Homestand Highlights: June 27-29 vs Cleveland

Text and Photos by Jordan Megenhardt

First off, we’re trying something new! Within the text of our posts, you’ll find that some words, sentences or phrases contain hyperlinks to related material. Feel free to try them out and recommend them to your friends!

Earlier this week, the D-backs completed a three-game homestand against the Cleveland Indians. Even though it was a very short stint of games at Chase Field, there was plenty of action, highlighted by Wily Mo Pena’s walk-off home run on Tuesday night.

When we wrote about Pena in Spring Training last week, we knew we’d be in for a treat when the team made it back home. Though, he was only used as a pinch hitter, Pena made an enormous impact and gave us plenty of great photo opportunities.

On Monday before the game, all anyone could talk about was Wily Mo Pena. Everyone couldn’t wait to see what he could do at the plate, and in the batting cage. During batting practice, we went down to the field to catch an up-close glimpse of Pena underneath the turtle shell.

Despite the deafening sound of cracking bats, I mustered up the courage to go right up to the mesh fence of the cage, reach around with a wide-angle lens and snap some photos of Pena in action.

While we we’re out there during batting practice, Chris Young and Gerardo Parra couldn’t help but watch and smile as Wily Mo belted baseballs deep into the bleachers. But, Justin Upton was clearly inspired or provoked and capably put on a show of his own.

As team photographers, we have the privilege to get this close to the action. It’s something that we try to take advantage of as much as we can. And, as team photographers, every once in a while we get requests for help from visiting teams asking for special coverage. When Cleveland called up prospect Lonnie Chisenhall before Monday’s game, we were asked to get some photos of his Major League debut.

As a baseball photographer, and a baseball fan, I love seeing guys make their debut (even if it’s a guy from the opposing dugout), it’s a very special moment and I consider it an honor to cover that kind of event. You never know who could end up becoming a legend or Hall of Famer.

That same game, Ryan Roberts gave us another chance for some unique photos. For the first time in his D-backs career, he donned the high socks and short pants. It might not seem significant, it’s not really, but it’s little fun things like this that catch a photographer’s eye.

Also during the homestand, a few roster moves were made. Relievers Alberto Castillo and Yhency Brazoban were called up from Reno for the first time. When new guys are called up to the team for the first time, we make sure to get photos of them as soon as possible. It’s important to do so for a couple of reasons. Part of our job is to document the history of the team, and when a guy makes his debut with the team, that’s a very important historical moment. Also, we use images of our players in many different outlets. Whether they’re used on the scoreboard or a billboard, we need to have the most current images possible.

The photo wells at Chase Field are on the inside of either dugout, near the on-deck circles. Those wells are where we shoot from most of the time. But, sometimes we roam out into different locations. This past homestand, the dugout suite on the third base side was empty, so we were able to capture some images from an angle that we don’t see very often (as you can see in the photos of the pitchers above and the ones below).

The biggest highlight of the homestand was Tuesday night’s game. Daniel Hudson pitched an amazing game and gave his all out there on the mound, and at the plate. Hudson is another guy who makes it easy for us to get some nice images. For a pitcher, he gets on base a lot, which makes things interesting for everyone, especially a photographer.

After getting on with a nice double, Hudson was caught off-guard on a pick-off attempt and just barely missed making it safely back to the base (as you can see in the photo below).

One big difference between an American League team photographer and a National League team photographer, the American League team photographer won’t have too many images of a pitcher in a dirty uniform.

Unfortunately for Hudson, J.J. Putz couldn’t lock down the save and the Indians came back. But, fortunately for us, that meant we might have the opportunity for a walk-off win. And a walk-off win is exactly what we got when Wily Mo Pena belted a pinch-hit, two-run, walk-off homer to end the game in dramatic fashion. Another one of the great privileges that we have as team photographers is covering a walk-off win. During the regular season, we’re the only photographers allowed on the field when a walk-off happens (and for more, look for our post next week when we discuss how we cover a walk-off victory).

There aren’t any more games (besides the All-Star Game) at Chase Field for another two weeks. But, we’ll be making a few posts between now and then. As mentioned, we’ll be talking about how we cover a walk-off victory, as well as a behind the scenes look at the Roland Hemond D-backs Insider cover shoot.

Until next time, here are some more images from the Cleveland series:

(Re)call-up: Wily Mo Pena

Photos and Text by Jordan Megenhardt

In honor of Wily Mo Pena getting called up from Reno and going yard in his first Major League game as a D-back, we are taking a little look back. During Spring Training, Pena made an extremely compelling case for himself to make the 25-man roster. He hit .341 with three home runs and seven RBI in 41 at-bats during spring and then went on to hit .363 with 21 home runs and 63 RBI in 237 at-bats at Triple-A Reno.

During spring, Pena’s attitude was great. He worked very hard to fit in with his teammates and even harder to take care of business on the field.

He put on incredible demonstrations of power during batting practice before exhibition games began. Players and coaches would stop and watch in awe as Pena launched balls over the practice field walls and into parking lots. Many people, even teammates and coaches wondered if his home run derby-like display would continue outside of the batting cage.

Once games started, Pena’s bat just got hotter and hotter. He was given significant playing time and came through consistently at the plate. The only knock on him was his glove. He worked hard in the outfield but with his gigantic frame, you can imagine how tough it is to track down or charge fly balls.

Despite his minor shortcomings in the outfield, he was having fun with his success at the plate. You could tell that his teammates and coaches appreciated his effort and attitude. Not only was he having fun, he was fun to watch, and photograph.

During photo day, Pena (pictured with D-backs Team Photographer Jon Willey) enjoyed himself despite the demanding early morning schedule. He was very easy to work with and even joked around with a few of the photographers and staff.

As spring concluded, Pena and Gerardo Parra battled it out for the final spot in the outfield. Parra ended up nabbing the job but everyone suspected that Pena and his bat would make some contributions in a D-backs uniform eventually. Clearly, everyone’s suspicions were correct when he homered in Kansas City during his first game with the D-backs.

For more on Wily Mo Pena and his D-backs debut, check out the post about him over on the D-blog