The team began today with around 9:30am with a warm-up, stretching and finally a scrimmage that started around noon. The weather wasn’t too cold except when you were in the shade or if the wind blew. If one happened, you could expect your face to turn blue. If both happened, you could expect your face to freeze off.
I arrived at Doak Field around 11:45am and took some photos of the team doing stretches. I then went over and took some photos of Andrew Brackman warming up and throwing some pitches. I was pretty near him while he did this and this was the first time I was so close to a pitcher throwing a ball. Obviously, it is not something I can do during a game. What really struck me was how when Andrew threw the ball you could hear it slicing through the air like a missile. Hearing that conveyed just how fast these balls go when pitched. Even more impressive was he was not throwing full throttle. He was only warming up. Man I would hate to be hit by a stray ball thrown by him.
I tried getting some photos of him with the sun behind him. The effect was cool except the lens I used (Canon 16-35 2.8L) was really refracting sunlight and rendered a lot of the photos unusable.
Once the scrimmage started I went into the stands to take some photos of scouts in the stands who were armed with radar guns getting a reading on Andrew and other’s speed. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say what the readings were, but I was impressed. I can say trying to frame the scouts with Andrew proved difficult. Because of the layout of the stadium I had to use a wide angle to get the scouts in the frame. But using a wide focal length made him tiny in the background. So there is work to do there.
Andrew pitched around 3 innings, then ran “poles” and then went inside the club house to do strength exercises. Being the professional stalker that I’ve become, I of course went in there with him. Talking with him I discovered that he took photography classes and knows what an f/stop is.
After finishing at Doak, the entire team went to RBC Center where during the first official timeout of the 2nd half, they were introduced to the crowd as the men’s basketball team played UNC-Chapel Hill. The baseball team must have brought good luck with them as the Wolfpack upset the Tar Heels 83-79 who were ranked #3 at the time. Today was Andrew’s first time on the floor of the RBC Center in front of a crowd after deciding to concentrate on baseball after being a dual-sport athlete in basketball. In addition to the presentation of the floor, I took some great photos of Andrew and the other players cheering on the sidelines and also storming the court after the win. I didn’t post any of those below as they were some of my favorites and I’m withholding some of my favs until the final project is presented. But below are some others from today.
In the training room….
Cooling down after running “poles”…
Trying on his new (size 15!) shoes…
Doing strength exercises…