Sunday, August 14, 2016

2016 American Association/Can-Am All-Star Game Part 2: Lemurs and other creatures

In the middle of 16 games in 18 days so things are crazy here at The Battery...but I did want to get some more All-Star shots before they get too dusty.

One of the highlights of the St. Paul All-Star Game was photographing some of Laredo's top players. The Lemurs didn't have any games scheduled in 2015 or 2016 in Winnipeg so it was a rare opportunity.

Dennis Phipps was one of the participants in the Aug. 1 home run derby:

The following night we got to see some of Laredo's pitching crew: Ryan Beckman, Luis De La Cruz and Jeff Inman. Barret Loux was voted in but unable to participate, and I missed Jose Nivar unfortunately.

At the time, we hadn't seen the Wichita Wingnuts in two years in Winnipeg. That would change in a week or so when the Nuts did a four game trip to Shaw Park. But it was neat to get an advance preview of Harrison Kain and star closer Frankie Reed before they made it to The Peg.

And just before the night was through, I caught glimpse of the lone Joplin Blaster at the All-Star game, Victor Capellan. Lighting was poor by that point and I never did get a good shot of him. But oddly enough, the Goldeyes would make a cash deal for Capellan just ten days later. So I got a second chance to photograph the sideways-capped reliever right here in Winnipeg.

Friday, August 5, 2016

2016 American Association/Can-Am All-Star Game Part 1: the Winnipeg connection

Got back from St. Paul yesterday, full credit to the St. Paul Saints organization, who collectively worked their asses off to make for a memorable two-day American Association/Can-Am All-Star event. CHS Field is a world-class facility and it was the perfect location to showcase the best players in indy ball. The North beat the South/Can-Am team 6-1, thanks in large part to an outstanding performance by MVP David Rohm. He's as reliable a hitter as they come, and Aug. 2 was no exception.

As one of the shooters in the Goldeyes' photo pool, my main goal of the trip was fairly simple: get as many shots of Rohm and Willie Cabrera (a late addition to the North All-Stars in place of injured Saint Angelo Songco) as possible. So I definitely had my lens pointed in their direction much of the time. At one point, while he was fielding, Rohm looked over at me as if to say "dude, quit it, I'm not even doing anything right now." I don't think David and Willie will be filing restraining orders against me just yet...they asked me to shoot several shots during pre-game and the home-run derby...but I won't push my luck much further...

Another highlight was seeing former Goldeyes Josh Mazzola and Luis Alen once again. Regardless of what jersey these gentlemen are wearing, they are two of the best ambassadors for the game the American Association could ask for.

More shots to come in the next few days. A big thanks to Paul McKeen, who came through with a 70-200 lens after I bounced mine off the concrete steps at Shaw Park a couple weeks ago (a casualty of Bark in the Park). Every lens has its own personality, and while I don't think I got my strongest shots at the All-Star event, I got by all right and that's all that matters. 

Also a big thanks to Kevin Luckow, Bill Tyler, leaders of the St. Paul tailgate crew. They were great hosts and it was fun to meet Steve Hamburger, Alonzo Harris Sr. and Will Alexander--a few of the all-star dads who also enjoyed a few hot dogs and beer just like the rest of us. Great, down to earth people who made the trip all the more enjoyable.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dateline: St. Paul

The Northern Battery has ventured cross border deep into Saints territory for the American Association's All-Star Game at the fabulous CHS Field. The Goldeyes own David Rohm and Willie Cabrera will be representing the Northern Front on Tuesday night. Home run derby/Soul Asylum concert tomorrow night to start things off, should be a fun couple days of baseball, hot dogs and rocking in the free world!

Rohm has been as solid as they come for The Fish, while Cabrera was a fantastic mid-season addition from the Joplin Blasters. The latter Goldeye comes in as a replacement for the injured Angelo Songco, who was originally selected from the Saints. Still kind of surprising to see only two Goldeyes selected for the game, but it's a well-deserved honour for these two gentlemen. Looking forward to getting some great shots at CHS!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Storm weather

After beating the Saints twice in as many days, Game 3 was set for July 20. Duke Von Schamann was on the mound for the Fish while the formidable Mark Hamburger (undefeated this season) was in for the Saints. Mother nature had other ideas, however, as the killer humidity hit a cold front and the clouds starting swirling in the sky over Shaw Park. The players, who were sent to their dugouts because of the lightening, stuck around to watch the crazy cloud formations. I stuck around and watched along with them; Jacob Rogers pointed out a funnel cloud spiralling down towards St. Boniface, just behind the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. It lasted less than a minute, making it halfway to the ground before it pulled apart again. I was glad my old neighbourhood was spared the damage! Other parts of town weren't so lucky. Game was called with St. Paul up 3-0 in an 1.5 innings. We'll finish the game off Aug. 15!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Abercrombie breaks AA's all-time home run record

It was only a matter of time, and tonight (July 14) Reggie Abercrombie tied and broke the American Association's all-time home run record with his 87 and 88th shots over the wall. The homers helped The Fish to a 6-4 victory over a decimated Sioux City Explorers squad. Coming off a 17-3 loss the previous evening, the Xs made a game of it with two pitchers in their batting rotation (Rob Wort and Jake Kuebler).

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Socks Up for Kids

Goldeye Great Max Poulin was at the July 3 game vs. Sioux Falls for a very special reason: to support Beyond Borders and their efforts to combat child exploitation. Both the Goldeyes and the Canaries wore their socks up for the game, and even took a rare break during the 7th inning for a mid-field photo. Great cause aside, I love the look of the high socks; Gary-Southshore wear it team-wide for each game and it looks very sharp. Maybe I'm old school but I love it. Pictured here are: Pitcher Shawn Blackwell and the Canaries; Adam Heisler, who returns after two-weeks on the injured reserve with his name still in the AA's top 10 batting leaders; Canaries' David Bergin; and the giant Goldeyes/Canaries group shot with Max Poulin.

Blake Schmit, Sioux Falls Canaries

(Photographed July 1-3, 2016 at Shaw Park, Winnipeg) Schmit is currently sitting at #2 in the American Association's league-leading batters, right behind Winnipeg's own David Rohm.