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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2006-07-03

College World Series: Not the Home Plate Action Expected
By Alyssa Schukar, Omaha World-Herald

Photo by Alyssa Schukar / Omaha World-Herald

Photo by Alyssa Schukar / Omaha World-Herald

ESPN videographer Mike Weir falls during coverage of Clemson's Andy D'Alessio's eighth inning homerun against Georgia Tech baseball game during the College World Series on Friday, June 16, 2006 at Rosenblatt Stadium.
I had a pretty good look on the infamous play involving an ESPN shooter taking a fall at home. At the time, I was sitting next to several other still shooters in the third base handicap box. We shot Clemson's Andy D'Alessio as he rounded third and headed TOWARD home after his eighth-inning homerun against Georgia Tech.

But much to our surprise and displeasure, we found any and all jube blocked by ESPN videographer Mike Weir who had joined up with D'Alessio halfway between third base and home plate. Weir stopped and lifted the camera above his head for a Hail Mary shot of the celebration.

From my take, it appeared that his foot was stepped on, causing him to lose balance. What bothers me about the situation is what it could mean down the line. These young men are athletes, but it is not too hard to imagine one of them tripping over the prostrate videographer and injuring himself, causing even more of a lock-down on access. I might add that this was the first and last time, at least for this series that a videographer was allowed to do this.

Barring only a few instances, still photo access to the College World Series was decent, and it's a great event to have the opportunity to cover. It's a true slice of Americana and really is free of the advertising muck that usually gets in the way of most every other sporting event.

This was my first time shooting the series, so I have no real idea of what kind of access still photographers had in previous years. From what I gathered from other shooters, the video shooter from ESPN used to wait five seconds before joining the team out in the field, but that was several years ago.

For this year's final, the still shooters in the first and third base boxes were not going to be allowed outside of the boxes for five minutes after the finish of the game. We were promised only one videographer would be on the field. As we entered the final inning, it looked like Oregon State was going to win, so I moved out to THE right field STANDS, which WERE opposite of the Oregon State bench.

I hoped to catch closing pitcher Kevin Gunderson's jube with his team exiting the dugout toward me. The Oregon State players were barely out of the dugout when into my frame popped the ESPN shooter as well as an uninvited still shooter or two. Not too long thereafter two more video guys popped out ONTO the field, rendering the situation worthless photo-wise. The Omaha World-Herald is fortunate to be able to bring enough shooters to cover many, many angles on the play. In a lot of ways, it seems like luck to be in anywhere near the right place because it takes so little time for the jube to become cluttered with non-players.

I'm actually not much of a sports photographer and the College World Series is easily the biggest sporting event I have had the opportunity to cover. As is the trend with any major sporting event, it is inevitable that there are going to be several media outlets vying for a shot and it is inevitable in some cases that doing so will block the shots of others.

Naturally, this can get pretty frustrating, but the College World Series is rife with opportunity for pictures, so I'd like to think it's important to keep that in mind when I get the urge to moan over and berate another shooter for his actions.

Frankly, I feel lucky I was given the opportunity to shoot the series with not only the talented staff at the Omaha World-Herald but also the shooters from around the country who gave me pointers or even just helped pass the time and my boredom when I was stuck in a box.


(Alyssa Schukar is interning at the Omaha World-Herald. A recent grad of University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be interning this Fall at the Palm Beach Post. Schukar's work can be viewed at: http://www.sportsshooter.com/alyssaschukar.)

Related Links:
Alyssa's member page

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