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|| News Item: Posted 2000-10-31

The Subway Series
By Brad Mangin

Photo by
Covering the recent Subway World Series between the Yankees and Mets in New York was a dream come true. It has been ten years since I covered my last Series (1990 Reds vs. A's) and I have been itching to get back ever since.

I was lucky enough to be assigned to shoot the Fall Classic for Major League Baseball Photos in late August. For the rest of the season I kept trying to figure out the different traveling scenarios that were possible, including one which would have had the Giants and A's squaring off in a Bay Bridge Series that would have allowed me to stay at home for the entire week.

Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos

Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos
Being a Giants fan (and season ticket holder) I was rooting for the Giants to be playing ANYONE. Once they made their disappointing exit in the first round I started looking elsewhere and decided that the best Series for me would be Yankees vs. Mets. I had never shot at Yankee Stadium or Shea. Getting the chance to stay in New York for a full week without having to travel would be a huge bonus. I really didn't care where I went, but New York would REALLY be fun. I was right.

Following are some observations and comments after spending nine days in New York City, The Bronx and Queens:

* The games are WAY too long and interfere too much with the post-game parties. I am a big baseball fan, but having games start at 8:30 on the East Coast means we don't get to the media parties till around 1am.

* The Mets throw a much better post-game party than the Yankees do. The beer was the same at both places, cold and plentiful, but the food was the star in the tent outside Shea Stadium. Fresh pasta, tri-tip and sushi were some of the featured dishes the Mets served up along with an incredible array of desserts.

* Yankee Stadium is really cool. Yeah, I know it's not quite the same since they remodeled it in the mid-seventies...but I had never been there and "Pride of the Yankees" was my favorite movie when I was a kid. Going out to the monuments behind the centerfield fence was a big thrill. The atmosphere outside The Stadium before the game was great, unlike what we are used to here in California with our big, boring ballparks surrounded by 15,000 parking spaces (except Pac Bell Park).

Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos

Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos
* The New York tabloids are fun to read. Getting a chance to see the Post and Daily News every day was really a treat. Between the great headlines ("ROGER GOES BATTY"), funny stories and wonderful pictures the New York media made it fun for us out-of-towners that never get to see these famous tabloids. Francis Specker of the New York Post gets a special mention here for his terrific picture of Roger Clemens throwing the bat at Mike Piazza shot from centerfield that ran on the cover of the Post and also in Sports Illustrated.

* Who says there can't be a happy ending? Sporting News Chief Photographer Albert Dickson lost his 400mm 2.8 outside the 3rd base photo box at Shea Stadium while shooting the post-game celebration on the field. Everyone was really upset about this at the post-game party in the tent (while eating sushi, pasta, tri-tip and drinking beer). When our group was leaving the ballpark around 2am we saw the Sporting News guys packing up their gear in the tunnel by the photo workroom and found out the great news from Albert himself. A stadium worker saw the lens on the field and thought it was too valuable to be left unattended. He brought it into the stadium operations office where Albert had just claimed his lens 20 minutes earlier.

Photo by Meri Simon/S.J. Mercury News

Photo by Meri Simon/S.J. Mercury News
* Avoid the Italian sausages at Shea Stadium. Allsport Senior Staffer Jed Jacobsohn got food poisoning after eating an Italian sausage before Game 3 on Tuesday night. After the game Jed found out that the sausage didn't agree with him. Jed spent the entire next day cooped up in his luxurious room at the "W" on 39th (not the one on 49th- the rooms are too small there) and missed Game 4. He watched part of it while trying to eat some bad chicken soup and slept through the rest of it. Being young and resilient, Jed was back at the yard for the Game 5 clincher on Thursday night just in time to get trampled in a scary scrum of media chasing Joe Torre being carried off the field on the shoulders of some of the Yankees.

* One of the great things about shooting the World Series or any other post-season games is seeing different photographers from all across the country that you never get to see. Telling stories, pissing and moaning about pictures we missed, complaining about the bad boxed media lunches and bitching about the lousy photo positions is fun to do with friends you only get to see once or twice a year.

* The highlight of shooting the 2000 World Series in New York and other post-season games on the West Coast in San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle has been working with V.J. Lovero. I know I speak for everyone when I say what a thrill it was to see V.J. shooting baseball in October and what an honor it was to work with him, eat with him, drink with him and ship film with him. Thanks for being there with us V.J. and thanks for reminding us all how lucky we are and what a thrill it is to be shooting The Series.

(Brad Mangin is a San Francisco-based freelance photographer. He is also the curator of the Sports Shooter archives.)

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