By Steve Nesius
As a photographer you often don’t know what to expect when covering MLB spring training baseball games – especially covering the Yankees.
After several games of being crammed into ridiculously tight photo wells at other stadiums with still photographers, TV crews and team interns shooting videos of batters and pitchers, it was nice to be assigned to a game at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida. Most photographers choose to shoot on the walkway behind the seats with clean fields of view. I wanted to shoot in the third base well, which is low to ground level, during the first inning to get the starting right-handed pitchers before heading up to the walkway.
It turned out to be a good decision. The Yankees batted first. Lead-off batter Eduardo Nunez singled, then stole second base. Brennan Boesch, in his second game since joining the Yankees after his release by the Tigers, was batting second. Boesch broke his bat on an infield single. Nunez advanced to third and scored on a throwing error. Kevin Youkilis batted third and hit a two-run homer, scoring Boesch. Yankees were up 3-0. Good action to start the game.
I felt I had some decent frames but couldn’t see the back of my camera very well to “chimp” (edit images in camera) in the bright sunshine. It wasn’t until later in the game, as I was editing, I could see I made some good images. In particular, the frame of the barrel of the broken bat smacking the face of Boesch. In the six-frame sequence, Boesch’s bat cracked as he struck the ball. On the follow-through of the swing, the bat brook in two pieces, smacked into his face, knocked his helmet ajar and flew out of the frame as Boesch raced to first base with an infield single.