Black & White Chronicles: Fall Ball

homeplateIf I have my choice at a baseball game, I’ll sit as far away from the protective netting as possible.

I would love to catch a ball – fair or foul – to show off to my friends like a deer head stuck up on a wall or the ribbon you get at the fair when your pumpkin tops 200 pounds.

But, it won’t happen. Because, when I see a baseball whizzing toward me (and by “toward”, I mean anywhere, really, within eight or nine sections), I duck.

I will never reach out and grab a ball out of the sky. I will never steal the ball from an outfielder’s glove. And, by golly, Red Sox Fan Out There In The Bleachers, I will never-never-ever wrest a ball away from another fan and throw it back on the field.

I will duck.

So, I appreciate that someone has invented this net to protect me from a good head-wallop. But, given the choice, I’ll take my chances. Because the net gets in my way – just one more barrier between me and the field.

These past few weeks, the University of Virginia has had a fall baseball season – intrasquad games mostly. The games were quite good. But, they closed off the bleachers, because it was chilly and the fans were sparce, and they sat us all in the “good seats”.

Good Seats

Behind that damned netting.

So, all I could do was make the net a part of the photos. More and more over the past several games, I’ve been shooting in black and white. And, I kind of like it.

How better to illustrate a history-rich, simple game? How better to show how baseball is, at its essence, black and white – you pitch, you hit, you run, you throw, you score?

How better to celebrate the true heart of the game than by stripping away all the extraneous noise?

All that’s left is black and white.

first base




hes out2

knothole kids



September 22, October 6, and October 20, 2013. Davenport Field, University of Virginia. Exhibition & Intrasquad games.

More Black & White From Davenport Field

Black & White Chronicles: Timeless

Black & White Chronicles: The Catcher

11 thoughts on “Black & White Chronicles: Fall Ball

  1. I always take my glove. The same one that saw me through all those years of Little League. The same one that hasn’t caught a ball since Little League. Maybe if I got a new glove, it would attract a foul ball. But I can’t do it. Tradition, you know?

    I’ll continue to sit not behind the net, with my glove on one hand and my dinner in the other (usually Bahn Mi these days; what could be more traditional than that?) and hope. If the Mariners don’t reverse their current attendance trends, by the end of the 2015 season, I should be the only person in the stands, and then all the foul balls will be mine! (Insert obligatory maniacal laughter here)

    • Camden Yards now has these most dee-licious whole wheat edamame dumplings. I will not sacrifice the dumpling for the foul ball. I will duck and cover and save my nose … and my nosh. (Although I wish a ball might take a gentle hop in my direction some day.)

      • Sounds tasty. Some kind of a dipping sauce come with that?

        Yet another disadvantage of following a team-that-isn’t-the-As while living in this part of the world. is pushing the local boundaries by having a stand that sells fruits and vegetables. Pretty much everything else is very limited variations on burgers, dogs, and nachos.

        Fortunately, they are one of the ever-shrinking number of venues that doesn’t make an effort to prevent you from bringing in your own food.

        That said, I generally eat between innings so I don’t have to make a decision between foul and fowl (or horsehide and horseradish, depending).

        • No fancy dipping sauce, but they have ponzu and sirarcha — which I make into a little slurry. I’m a strict vegetarian, so having an option besides french fries is always a plus. Had I known about the fruit & veggie stand at O.Co, I would have cheered a little harder for the A’s this post-season. :)

          Camden Yards also allows you to bring your own food and drink inside which makes it much easier (and cheaper).

          I’m with you … no time to eat during the game. We try to eat during BP. I usually have my camera and my scorecard once the game starts, there’s too much going on and too much to watch to be able to eat too!

      • (Again, I can’t reply to the correct comment. Very odd. I suppose the comment system wasn’t really designed for conversations.)

        Ponzu + rooster sauce? Doesn’t quite appeal, though I like both separately.

        Don’t get too excited. From what I’ve seen, it’s your basic apples and celery kind of deal. You’re still probably better off bringing your food from home. Nice that Camden Yards still allows it too. Cherish that ability.

        And cherish the ability to keep score. That’s another dying art. I get confused looks even from fans when I talk about a 6-4-3 double-play. But I digress. Sorry about that. I’ll try to keep my “darn kids” rants on my own blog. ;-)

  2. The other night Kelly and I watched ESPN’s Catching Hell document about Steve Bartman, this year marks the 10th anniversary. Kelly and I were also watching the baseball game that fateful night in 2003 which saw the Cubs collapse after “fan interference”. During that game and after watching the documentary last week I said that it didn’t matter who was sitting in those seats they would have tried to catch that ball. I stand corrected, if Jackie Howell had been sitting in Aisle 4, Row 8, Seat 113 on October 14, 2003 Moises Alou would have made the 2nd out of the inning. That is if Moises Alou didn’t close his eyes or look down at the field which he commonly did on fly balls.

    What was in the UVA Fan Package, tickets to a football game? Hee hee hee

    • You’re exactly right — I would have dived under the seat! And, if I was out in Yankee Stadium in right field on 10/9/96 instead of that rotten little Jeffrey Maier, Tony Tarasco would have made the catch, and the Orioles would have gone on (i’m sure) to win the World Series. I do feel sorry for Steve Bartman and I believe Moises Alou was rather punky about the whole thing.

      You heard about the fan package! Tee-shirt, etc. Oh, and one of those car window flag thingies (which may end up in your Christmas stocking). Football free! :)

  3. I like the black and white pics. As I told you once, the only really good photos I’ve ever taken were with my mom’s old Brownie box camera. But, b&w can easily evoke feelings of the past. On the other hand, the green grass at the top of your blog says springtime is here and the games are about to begin — it’s time to look to the future. Lucky for us that we can have it both ways.

    • Thanks, Gloria! Nothing ever quite turns out like I want it to, but I keep trying. And, hopefully, I’ll graduate to another camera soon-ish that will give me the settings that I want. In the meantime, I’ll just keep at it — in color and B&W!

  4. Pingback: Black & White Chronicles: The Catcher | Baseball, Yoga, Life … (and me)

  5. Pingback: The Fortune Cookie Speaks | Baseball, Yoga, Life … (and me)

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