Lake County Captains

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

The first minor league Baseball game I saw was in 1989 when Ben McDonald pitched for the single-A Frederick Keys at the end of their season. This was at McCurdy Field, a Babe Ruth League stadium where the only seats were bleachers, and was replaced by Harry Grove Stadium the following year. In 1994 the Oriole’s AA affiliate moved to Bowie, MD and I decided to document the construction, which lingered on due to the harsh winter. Around that time I started visiting minor league ballparks by taking a week off from work and travelling to as many as possible to see a game. I did not even think about photographing the venues until 2001.

One of the difficulties of photographing a panoramic at the time was the fact that there was no convenient means of stitching together the disparate images that comprised the whole, as I did not have a panoramic camera. Photoshop now makes that task simple, but I gained my stripes figuring out how get things to work with the tools available.

Last week I saw nine games in six days (two of the games were part of a double-header), which was a little unusual because it is typical to endure at least one rain-out during my week off. The most picturesque of the games was the 11am start for the Lake County Captains in Eastlake, Ohio. Exceptional clouds graced the day and forced color everywhere.

This image will go onto my website, where once I have completed processing this past week’s images, will include 66 minor league venues. This represents all but a literal handful of ballparks within a few hundred miles of home. It was not until I mapped out all of the minor league ballparks existing and marked the ones I had yet to visit that I realized that I had completely forgotten about the Potomac Nationals. I saw them as the Prince William Cannons in 1994 but that was before photographing the location, an oversight I will correct later this summer.

About GLSmyth
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