Saturday, October 6, 2012

Yer outta there!

Years ago, I was working at a small newspaper. I wrote all the copy, took all the pictures and laid out all of the pages for the sports section.

One day, I showed up at a local softball field to take recreation pictures, but I only had a few shots left on a roll of film. Film was parceled out like gold back then, and that was all I had. I took a shot or two of the pitcher warming up and someone batting. Then I went to first base, introduced myself to the first baseman and the umpire, and we got started.


A man got on base, and he immediately strayed off the bag. That league played baseball rules on pickoffs; if he got too far off base, he was fair game.


The pitcher threw to first, and the runner made a headlong dive back to the bag. I snuck out on the field a few feet — the umpire didn't complain — and snapped the shot and realized it was the last shot on the roll of film. I thanked everyone, including the base runner, who was out and heading back to the dugout. I wished them well and drove back to the paper.


Here's what I got: The photo showed the baserunner parallel to the ground, maybe six inches above it, with his fingers two or three inches off the bag. The first baseman was doing a split, with the ball clearly in his glove and the glove touching the baserunner's ankle.


I ran the photo, one of the best I've taken, all the way across the page with the slugline "Yer outta there!"



CONTACT: Email me at tgilli52@gmail.com or nc3022@yahoo.com. Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.

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Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie


EDITOR@WORK blog entries

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(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)
CONTACT: Email me at tgilli52@gmail.com or nc3022@yahoo.com. Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.


More blog entries by Tom Gillispie
• Advice for be and would-be novelists

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie


EDITOR@WORK blog entries

Entries from The Dog Blog

Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom,
When I worked at the Morning News in Florence, out photographer was from Nigeria (long story, another day), who didn't know beans about baseball.
He asked somebody about good action shots, and they mentioned the pickoff play at first.
From that moment on, that's all we got, shots of the first baseman's ass with a hand reaching for the bag.
In fact, before he left the paper, I think we had the ass of every first baseman in the South Atlantic League covered.
Jimmy Mac

Tom Gillispie said...

Jim, when I took photos for small newspapers, I took a bunch of ass shots myself. That "Yer outta there!" shot was an anomaly; it was easily one of the top five shots I ever took. Thanks for the comment.

Kimberly Michalski said...

Nice! I'd love to see that photo!

Tom Gillispie said...

I'd like to see it, too. But it's long gone.