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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2010-11-11

LEADING OFF
No Heartbreak This Fall

By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter

I’ve had my heart broken in the fall many times over the years. But each spring I come back, hopeful, excited, and anxious for the first week of April and falling in love again.
Photo by Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY

Photo by Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY

The new Mr. October? Cody Ross and the San Francisco were not heartbreakers this year, winning the Giants first World Series since moving from New York in 1958.

I’ve been in love with the Giants for as long as I can remember. I’ve been in love for about 50 years, ever since my dad filled my ears with names like McCovey, Mays, Marichal, Davenport, Cepeda, Perry, Alou and Fuentes.

This fall I relived my childhood as the Giants made an unexpected and maddening march through the playoffs. Instead of a transistor radio clamped to my ear like I had in the 5th grade I had an old Sony Walkman I found in the bottom of a desk drawer to listen to Game 7 of the National League Championship Series against the Phillies.

Memories. And heart aches.

There was ’62 against the Yankees when Bobby Richardson snared Willie McCovey’s bullet line drive in the bottom of the 9th with two on and two out and the Giants down 1-0. (Hey Ryan Howard! THAT’S how you go out even if you lose!)

Then there were what I called the Dark Days, the mid-60s through the 70’s where bad haircuts and artificial turf at Candlestick Park were the highlights --- except the one fabulous season where Giants beloved broadcaster Lon Simmons joined Al Michaels in the broadcast booth for one season in 1976. (The Giants lost 88 games that season, but listening to Simmons and Michaels was a real treat.)

Being the good Band Dad, instead of parked in front of the TV watching Game 7 of the NLCS, I was photographing the Hart Regiment Marching Band perform during a competition… And as Ryan Howard took a called third strike with two out, two on and the Phillies down by a run I pumped my fist, let out a yell and did a little dance after I heard the call through my ear buds. About 1,500 people in the stands probably wondered what the hell was going on with the wacky guy with the cameras on the track.

Truthfully, after the Giants literally squeaked by the Braves in the first round by one run in each of their 3 wins and then Howard TAKES a called third strike to give the Giants the National League pennant, the World Series was anticlimactic.

I knew deep down they would finally win their first World Championship. I think my USA TODAY colleagues Bob Deutsch, Dave Cooper and Darr Beiser thought I was nuts because I was so negative about San Francisco’s chances, in spite of a win in Game 1 and then another win in Game 2.

But I guess it was a defense mechanism, a way to keep from getting my heart broken again. Visions of the debacle of the 2002 World Series --- where the Giants blew a 5-run lead in the 7th inning of Game 6 to open the door for the Angels to win the big prize --- never entered my mind.
Photo by

I was in love; baseball has a way of doing that to you. And these Giants did something that the Big Stars of the 50’s and 60’s --- Mays, McCovey, Marichal, et al --- never was able to accomplish for The City. These were the Giants of no-stars: Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff, Juan Uribe and Andres Torres (ok, ok, they do have stars named Lincecum, Posey and Cain)…

While I may have sent pessimistic texts to Bob, Darr and Coop in Texas --- I was in San Francisco for games 1 and 2 for our coverage --- I knew the Series was not coming back west for a game 6 or game 7. As a matter of fact, after the Giants went up 3 – 0 late in Game 5 I actually my wife and daughter “Let’s go out to dinner … it’s over!”

No heartbreak this fall!

* * *

One of the most popular regular features I run in Sports Shooter is Intern Diaries. The logical extension to that annual series is featured in this issue, Workshop Diaries. I asked several Sports Shooter members to write about their experiences at the recent Missouri, Eddie Adams and Mountain Workshops.

Mike Greenlee writes about a project he recently completed with Matt Brown documenting the legendary home of the College World Series in the video “Remembering Rosenblatt”.

World traveler and freelance photographer Tim Clayton writes about his experiences living in Brazil in our regular “Destinations” feature. Rod Mar writes an inspiring “Ask Sports Shooter” answering a recent question posed in the ss.com message board on a photographer’s desire to shoot an NFL game.

The Sports Shooter Academy adds a new workshop, the Lighting Luau, to be held in April.

James Madelin, creator of the popular Orbis speedlight ring light adapter, starts a four-part series on the basics of off-camera flash use. College student Harry Engels covered the recent Ryder Cup and writes about his experiences.

And Sports Shooter sponsors Adorama, Roberts Distributors and Samy’s Camera give us specials and all of the gear news that’s fit to print!

* * *

This month’s “Worth A Look” recommendation is the new book by long-time NBA photographer Andy Bernstein. “Journey To The Ring” is a behind-the-scenes look at the LA Lakers march to their second straight NBA Championship last season.
Photo by

Andy Bernstein's new book: "Journey to the Ring: Behind the Scenes with the 2010 NBA Champion" (left) and "Classic Albums: John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band"


As any good journalist will tell you, “access is everything” and when the co-author of your book project is head coach Phil Jackson, you get to see and photograph a lot of stuff that nobody else can.

I got a peek at the book last week while at Staples Center for a game and it is worth plunking down $25 for the 200 pages of (surprising) black & white images.

With John Lennon’s recent 70th birthday, “Worth a Listen” is actually a DVD: “Classic Albums: John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band”. This is a documentary about Lennon’s first solo album after the break up of the Beatles. Through interviews --- bassist Klaus Voorman is worth the price of the DVD alone --- and samples of outtakes and raw tapes from the recording session this disc is enlightening and somewhat sad.

Enlightening because you can hear the raw emotion of the complicated Lennon.

Sad because he was taken away too early and we’re left to wonder “What if….”



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
As always, special thanks to: Deanna & Emma Hanashiro, Brad Mangin, Jason Burfield, Grover Sanschagrin and Joe Gosen.

Thanks this month to contributors: Mike Greenlee, Matt Brown, Rod Mar, Tim Clayton, Christina House, Jay Drowns, Harry Engels, Brooke LaValley, Cooper Hampton, Patrick Fallon, Cooper Neill and James Madelin.

The comments, opinions and other nutty statements that the writers may have expressed, implied, imagined or made up are theirs and theirs alone. Sports Shooter, Inc. and SportsShooter.com published these articles in good faith with the purpose of education and inspiration.

Permission in writing must be obtained from Sports Shooter, Inc. and the author of the article before being reprinted.

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

The Sports Shooter Archives as well as tons of cool resources and information can be accessed through the Internet at http://www.SportsShooter.com.

For information on the Sports Shooter Academy workshop, go to the newly redesigned site at: http://sportsshooteracademy.com/.

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