Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Me and Luis...

Speed is a great asset; but it's greater when it's combined with quickness - and there's a big difference.

~Ty Cobb


As a fan of the Ems I've been attending games for the last 5 or 6 years, mostly w/ one or both of my kids.

This year, somehow, I am the Ems photographer. I work with a Pentax *ist DS digital camera and 2 lenses. Primarily for the sports work I use my 50 - 200mm Pentax zoom lens but on occasion (like the team picture this year) I use my 18 - 55 mm Pentax zoom. Ideally I'd have a longer and faster telephoto without the zoom, a 300mm or longer... but those puppies are spendy. Maybe next year.

Back when I was young... and we only had film... I owned fixed lenses (wide angles, telephotos) that were top of the line because of lens quality and speed. I was nervous about digital because it meant new camera gear. I was raised on film and had used it for decades. And I'm always leery of new technology. After I had taken about my first 500 or so images I knew digital was for me. No film, no processing... in that 500 image space I had saved enough from not having to buy film and pay for processing and I could see them right now!

The art and business of photography has not changed, the manipulation of the camera in achieving a desired (or often accidental) end work remains the same. F stops and exposure... focal length and film speed (ISO)... its all the same. So now I have Civic Stadium and all its thousands of people as my task to visually record. And that my friends, from this photographer's view, is pretty darn cool indeed.

So now in 2007 I am an Ems fan armed with a camera and decades of developing my eye and technique. And this year's team is a fan's delight. Loaded with talent, the Ems are chasing 1st place Salem-Keizer, a real good and tough team to beat. One of the reasons for the Ems success is the always exciting Luis Durango:

Listed at 5' 10" and 145 pounds Luis Durango is about as quick with the bat as any batter I've seen. When he is at bat the defense knows who Luis is and what he can do and what he does. He bunts , bloops and blasts. He can drop a bunt down either line and be to 1st base before the play is even close or he can rip one over the outfield in the holes for extra bases. The infield plays in for a bunt and he bloops singles over their heads and in front of the outfielders. Which means he gets on base. A lot.

Last week Luis was number 3 in the league with a .353 batting avg, he was #1 in total hits w/ 47, he was #4 in on base percentage at .430, he was #3 in runs scored with 30... and he was leading the league in triples with 5 (thats those over-the-outfielders-heads blasts!). And to go along with all that, credit Luis with 2 homers and 14 RBIsAnd he is a burner on the bases. Luis' uniform is usually dirty before the end of the 1st inning.

So here in pictures is the Luis Durango of the Ems' first half of the 2007 season (and as always, these images are copyrighted, reprint w/ permission only). Enjoy the pictures. Better yet come out to Civic and cheer Luis and the boys of summer on! Its a great tradition and a wonderful family experience. Baseball, on a summer's eve? Nothing better...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Of Ducks and Ems...

A game of great charm in the adoption of mathematical measurements to the timing of human movements, the exactitudes and adjustments of physical ability to hazardous chance. The speed of the legs, the dexterity of the body, the grace of the swing, the elusiveness of the slide - these are the features that make Americans everywhere forget the last syllable of a man's last name or the pigmentation of his skin.

~Branch Rickey

Just a few pics for today. The U of O Duck showed up to throw out the first pitch in Sunday's game against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and I've posted the promised pic of Jonathon Stewart riding a tricycle. Brian Lauderdale's mom showed up in the press box and I was honored to meet her... nice to see the family side of the game, Lori is proud of her son and glad he has Greg Riddoch as his manager. Mitch Canham is out w/ an injury so this is a non-playing shot of him at the dugout between innings; Greg Riddoch coaches 3rd and gets lonely... And of course, more kids...

The Duck does baseball; Jonathon Stewart in the tricycle race

Lori Lauderdale

Isabel snacks and baby Kolbi hangs out on Dad's arm

Mitch Canham........ Riddoch waits for company at 3rd

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mo' pics...

“Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion, a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit anywhere you like except in the umpire's eye or on the ball.”

~ Jim Murray

Some pictures from the recent games. I'm not picky... I'll photograph the staff, the crowd and sometimes I'll even take pictures of the game.

But first! A word from our sponsor (me). I am a working photographer and anyone needing someone to do portraits, weddings, events or any other darn thing that requires photos can contact me at : allan_e@efn.org

Or if you wish to purchase one of your pictures posted here, or an Ems action shot (which I'll be posting a bunch more of soon) please, just ask. The pictures here are all posted at a low resolution. So, while reproduceable, the quality won't be good. I have the high-res images locked in a protective box, buried deep in the government's secret underground bunker under Skinner's Butte (and I'm not permitted to say which government. If I told you, well... you know... ).

Nate and Kayleen - Tanja and Aaron

Cassidy and Joseph - and Churchill HS' softball star Jessica Plummer w/ her dad.

Dave and Charlotte (nice folks, they sit over by 3rd base)

You've heard of Running the Bulls, in Pamplona, Spain? Well this is the Ems' version... Running the bases...

Hometown fans love to give the visiting coaches a hard time when they go out on the field to argue with the Umps... a fine baseball tradition in ballparks everywhere.

Kellen Kulbacki slides into 2nd to beat the throw.

Alex, Camilla and Ivy

Andy Parrino goes acrobatic and Keith Conlon chases down a fly in left, making the grab with a stretch.

Eric Sogard races to make the play at 2nd base

Friday, July 20, 2007

More pictures, less words...

"who's on first" Abbott and Costello on you tube...

...have fun.

And thats just what the world needs, Abbott and Costello and taking out competitive urges, with a ball, on a field of play instead of in other, more destructive and less-than-satisfactory-to-us-reg'lar-folk kind of ways... ya know?

I'm really liking this set of pics. I'm also enjoying the opportunity of working in such a great atmosphere. I hope it shows:

Two great shots of Justin Pickett really guarding the plate.

... and Pickett signing autographs (coach Jose Flores and catcher Luis Martinez in the background signing as well)... . There is a lot of that going on at Civic Stadium. Here is Luis Durango doing the same thing:

Usher Barber Dan and young Tyler

Former Duck and NBA star Luke Ridenour participating w/ a fan in the Bean Bag toss, playing against Josh Bidwell, participants in a post-game Fellowship program.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A few days off...

"I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did."

- Yogi Berra

The Ems are gone on a road trip after a pretty successful homestand including a 3 game series against the Vancouver (BC) team in which the Ems won 2 and lost 1 and scored 34 runs in those 3 games. The second game of the series the Ems scored 18 runs and every starter scored at least 1 run.

Here are a few pics from that series, including one I really like of Mitch Canham signing autographs at the Ems' dugout after the game. All the other players have gone and Mitch stands alone with a crowd of fans. Thats class. Something I'm thinking Ems' Manager Greg Riddoch is gonna be pretty good at instilling in a lot of his players.

Also posted today, Eric Sogard and Keith Conlon being interviewed; what it would look like if Eugeneoids stayed home and didn't go to Civic Stadium; what the crowd looks like when the fans do show up; good guy Josh Bidwell standing w/ his teammate in the bag toss (they lost against Luke Ridenour and his teammate and this poor kid was really sad. Good job cheering her up Josh!); almost always (not when he's pitching) Jackson "K"zada smiling; and... Justin Baum and Ems fans gawking skyward as the Airship Radio Theatre's hot air (boy howdy!) Airship passes over Civic Stadium.

And as a treat for you U of O Duck fans, I'll soon be posting a rare picture indeed... the U of O's Jonathon Stewart on a tricycle.

Until next time... enjoy.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday morning...

I like my Sunday mornings. Yep.

What a game last night! Dang... Mitch Canham's first homerun as a pro and it is a Grand Slam, an over-the-scoreboard-no-doubt-about-it kinda hit. He has quickly grown as the "hometown" favorite. It could be he is the best received Beaver (OSU) ever in Eugene (UO, Ducks). I can't be sure about that because I haven't been here forever...

And another crowd pleaser is Brian Lauderdale, out of Roswell, GA. Back from last year's Ems team, he is one of my faves too... he had a whale of a game, getting 3/4 of a full cycle with 2 singles, a double and a triple. The lack of a homerun is hardly a fault in a game like this, where the game went almost 4 hours and it took 8 runs for the Ems to win against a stubborn Vancouver (BC) team. Anyways.... Lauderdale... engaged in a version of baseball you only get to see once in a while at home plate or close to home... played Tackle Baseball!

I mean I'm a multi-sport kind of guy, I love baseball, basketball and football and play all 3. Ice Hockey... well, its too darn cold and if maybe I'd been introduced to it at a younger age... Soccer? Nah (even tho' I realize it is almost THE international sport). But, as a multi-sport guy, when the opportunity arrives to mix things up... have you ever tried to dribble a football? or played basketball in a pool? Lauderdale was on his way home and had no chance to beat the throw to the plate. He didn't beat the throw, but he sure decided to take the shortcut to the plate. Which (and you won't find this on any map) meant he had to go through the catcher. He almost made it. Almost...

Nice job Brian!

As a solid object the Vancouver catcher gave up some ground and ended up flat on his keester, but managed to hang on to the ball. To his credit. I mean it was, truly, a full blown, shoulder down, "I'm-on-my-way-and-you-ain't-stopping-me" collision. And the visiting Canuck catcher is not a big guy... lucky for him Brian is only 5'10 and 170 pounds.

So... here is the next gallery, from the series that ended Friday night with the Everett (WA) Aquasox, featuring another with those un-celebrated groundskeepers, Russ Eisenstein (the radio voice of Ems baseball on 1120 AM), beautiful women and handsome men, some Ems fans having a good time, an inflatable giant bat, Luis Durango airborne, another gorgeous Oregon sunset (which to me is when Civic Stadium is its most beeootiful)... and more!