Story   Photographer   Editor   Student/Intern   Assistant   Job/Item

 Front Page
 Member Index
 Latest Headlines
 Special Features
 'Fun Pix'
 Message Board
 Educate Yourself
 Equipment Profiles
 Classified Ads
 Monthly Clip Contest
 Annual Contest
 Current Issue
 Back Issues
 Members Area
 "The Guide"
About Us:
 About SportsShooter
 Contact Us
 Terms & Conditions

Sign in:
Members log in here with your user name and password to access the your admin page and other special features.



|| News Item: Posted 2005-03-05

Leading Off: The most wonderful time of the year
By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

A father and son play catch in front of HoHoKam Park, spring home of the Chicago Cubs on Friday, March 4, 2005.
After a winter of discontent in Los Angeles --- dreary, rainy weather mixed with mud slides, floods and leaky pipes --- a trip to Arizona is welcome relief because early March is "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year".

For the baseball fan that is.

(Apologies to Eddie Paol and George Wyle, the writers of the Christmas song of the same name.)

While the Valley of the Sun traffic resembles what I am used to in LA (I-10 actually looks WORSE than the San Diego freeway at 3:30!) the weather here at the moment is warm, the skies clear and blue.

Pulling into HoHoKam Park (aka: Wrigley Field West) the first thing I saw today was something out of a Norman Rockwell painting: a father and his two sons playing catching in front of the ballpark.

I couldn't help thinking of my own dad and feeling like I was home.

"It's 30 degrees back in Chicago," the Tribune's Phil Velasquez said to me as we watched the Cub taking batting practice," Hey I'm wearing shorts!"

Having endured the wettest and coolest LA winter in years I guess I brain farted, wearing jeans to the game. At least I left my signature long sleeve mock turtleneck shirt at the hotel.

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / Sports Shooter

"Phil Velasquez is wearing shorts, trust me," says Robert Hanashiro.
Another reason why Spring Training for us baseball fans is so special: everyone is in first place, every fan still has hope for a World Series and the players are all in good moods, chatting with fans and signing just about everything put in front of them.

Watching Darren Baker, manger Dusty Baker's son gleefully scamper under the dugout bench to retrieve an errant ball and Shawon Dunston's son take a few pitches in the batting cage BEFORE Nomar Garciaparra reminded me why I love baseball so much.

As Velasquez and I watched Dunston and his son, both wearing Cub uniforms, walked down the right field line after BP he commented "That's memories he'll have forever."

Baseball is a game for all the "kid" in us, whether we played it on a ragged field in Calwa Park or in Fenway Park with 35,000 cheering fans or just watch it on the tube with Vin Scully doing the play-by-play.

It is the most wonderful time of the year ...

* * *

Random Notes on the Scorecard:

• Stay Behind the Ropes?
Big event. Hundreds of photographers. Security and a rope separate us from what we all want to shoot.

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / Sports Shooter

At the two-minute warning security personnel and the rope came out to hold back photographers from rushing the field at the end of Super Bowl XXXIX. One photographer was cuffed and taken away by authorities after a post-game incident with security.
The Super Bowl?

The Academy Awards?


So why is it OK for us photographers to go onto the field where we obviously are not allowed --- the rope, an announcement on the stadium P.A. 3 minutes before the end of the game and a couple of hundred yellow-jacket security personnel are pretty good hints to me --- but we can't storm the Red Carpet at the Oscars arrivals?

Much has been made about the arrest of a photographer at the end of Super Bowl XXXIX and my point here is not to debate whether it is right or wrong to jump the rope to shoot "in your face" wide angle jube photos.

I just find it interesting that while we are quick to poke fun at the paparazzi, you sure don't see them break protocol and rush onto the Academy Awards Red Carpet to stick a camera in the face of Hilary Swank or Leonardo DiCaprio.

Just an observation.

Photo by Max Morse / Sports Shooter

Photo by Max Morse / Sports Shooter

Sports Shooter Academy founders Matt Brown and Robert Hanashiro share a laugh during the U.C. Irvine - U.C. Davis basketball game at the Bren Events Center.
• Sports Shooter Academy: The Next COOL Thing?

It's been a couple of weeks since THE coolest sports photography event of the year and there are lots of people that I need to thank. Again.

But first I want to go on record: Yes, we will do everything we can to do this again and (hopefully) make this a regular Sports Shooter event.

You cannot put on a workshop like this, covering nearly two dozen games over three days, without a great faculty and staff. Matt Brown, Darrell Miho, Dave Black, Donald Miralle and Wally Skalij gave everything they had during The Academy ... most important of all they gave the 32 participants their time.

Our student volunteers Max Morse and Jeff Botarri from Brooks Institute of Photography did everything imaginable from climbing the catwalks of U.C. Irvine's Bren Events Center to helping students with backboard remotes to manning the video camera to putting together the nightly critique slide shows.

Ron Taniwaki and Nikon stepped to the plate and helped sponsor this workshop immediately after I came up with this wacky idea. This event would not be possible without their commitment to education of Sports Shooter.

Thanks also to Think Tank Photo for sponsoring the awards we gave to the participants with the best photos.

And lastly, the hard work and dedication of Matt Brown cannot be spotlighted enough or thanked enough. From a simple conversation at a June afternoon Dodger game the Sports Shooter Academy became a reality. Matt went to the Big West Conference and the schools and made this whole workshop possible.

Stay tuned.

* * *

Sports Shooter v.76 might be subtitled the "Wireless Issue". This edition we feature two articles about wireless technology: Shawn Cullen tells us how we can get the most out of our radio triggers and Bob Deutsch gives us a first look at the new Canon Wireless File Transfer WFT-E1A.

Matt Mendelsohn writes about the Newsweek's digitally manipulated cover photograph of Martha Stewart. Chris Detrick and Andrew Malana recount their experiences at The Academy.

So sit back, adjust the contrast on your monitor, pump up the volume on that Pine Top Perkin's CD and enjoy Sports Shooter v.76.

As always, thanks to Special Advisors & Contributors: Deanna & Emma Hanashiro, Brad Mangin, Anne Ryan, Rick Rickman, Joe Gosen, Peter Read Miller, Rod Mar, Vincent Laforet, Trent Nelson, Jason Burfield, Grover Sanschagrin, Photodude, Scott Sommerdorf, Reed Hoffmann, Bob Deutsch and Mongo Johnson.

Thanks this month to: Matthew Mendelsohn, Chris Detrick and Andrew Malana.

I welcome any comments, corrections, suggestions and contributions. Please e-mail me at

The Sports Shooter Archives as well as tons of cool resources and information can be accessed through the Internet at

Use of the content of the Sports Shooter Newsletter is prohibited without the expressed written permission of The Big Kahuna and the author of the article.

Opinions, rants, raves, insults and praise whether intend or not, are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sports Shooter and public sensibilities.

Copyright Sports Shooter, Inc.

Contents copyright 2018, Do not republish without permission.
Rick says: "Stop Complaining!" ::..