Baseball season is here again! The team I follow, the Philadelphia Phillies – the WORLD SERIES CHAMPION Philadelphia Phillies, mind you – kick off the 2009 campaign tonight at 8 PM against the Atlanta Braves. And, for the next seven months, my background is in order. By background I mean, I may not watch every inning of every game, but it’s there…it’s on in the background, be it on the radio while I’m firing up the grill outside, or on the TV while I’m winding down at night.
It absolutely KILLS my wife. “They are playing AGAIN??”
Yep, honey, they are. Actually, when I informed her that they start tonight she said “Didn’t the season just end?” Um, yeah, five months ago with Brad “Light’s Out” Lidge delivering a championship to my beloved team after 28 years…..
Anyway, in honor of the Boys of Summer getting back into the swing of things, a few baseball-related images, shot last 4th of July at Citizens’ Bank Park in Philadelphia, when the Phils played the Mutts, er, Mets.
(Incidentally, this was one of my fav’s on the day. Since it was the 4th of July, a great Nation Anthem was sung, with members from our military lining the field.)
Chase Utley, one of my favorite players in the game right now.
The Big Man, Ryan Howard.
Jimmy Rollins in the box.
And I’ll just end with this one. I had the pleasure of meeting Ernie Banks in 1998. He was kind enough to sign a clean baseball for me. It’s not that I’m a Cubbies fan, though I do love the city and respect Ernie for the great player he was.
Rather, it’s that all through my youth, my dad never bought a new glove for himself. Pitching to me on the deserted Little League field, late on a Sunday afternoon as the sun wound down towards evenign, he wore the glove in the photo – a 1953 Ernie Banks “Ball Hawk,” model that he obtained while in the service. It wasn’t his first glove, but it was his last. He never has bought another one.
My dad later gave me that glove. And when I had the chance to meet Mr. Banks, I knew where the signed ball was going. Right in the pocket of the glove that I so often had seen my dad slip over his left hand in order to start one more lesson in baseball that taught his son…whether it was to try his best, don’t bail out of the box (hmmm, bailout…sound familiar), or to just do the best you can. One ball, one bat, one glove, a father and son… a lot of memories.
© Mark V. Krajnak 2009 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 20D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS2 and Nik Software.