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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

"Well I hadn't really thought about it...."
Thomas E. Witte, Photographer
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 10:31 PM on 06.17.04
->> I was in sort of a rare position this week while trying (along with everyone and his mother) to get Griffey Jr's 500th homer... I was the only photographer in the outfield all three games, when an Adam Dunn homer sailed into the lap of the dude sitting three seats to my left just outside the photo well.

Then one of the lovable drunks to my right asked me what I'd do if I caught "the ball".

I told him I couldn't because it's unethical... I'm there to shoot, not get souvenirs. But then again, what if it landed right there in the photo well with me and all I had to do is reach over and pick it up? While this guy was more interested in if I'd give him the ball or sell it on eBay, I was still hung up on if I'd even pick it up.

Part of me says I shouldn't, but the other part tells me I should for this reason... Because I would give it back to him... No questions asked. It's his ball he hit it, it's his milestone. These other people out there on the other hand were saying "I'm sure you could get him to pony up at least $75,000 for it", so I'd pick it up to spare him the ordeal of dealing with those jokers over it.

Regardless, it's one of those things that we as photographers would rarely be put in position to worry about. Its one of the only instances in sports (that I can think of) where we are in position to be effected by a milestone play, because all the other shooting locations are in foul territory.

So I'm just curious? Would you go for it or just let the mass of humanity fight for it?
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David Johnson, Photographer
Social Circle | GA | USA | Posted: 10:39 PM on 06.17.04
->> Credentialed and asking for autographs... no way.

Credentialed and having Griffey Jr's 500th HR fall in my lap.... SWEETNESS. I would most definitely pick it up. And, like you, I would do the same and return the ball to him.

Having it fall 10 feet away from me????

Switch to small glass and shoot the frenzy.
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Michael Granse, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 10:40 PM on 06.17.04
->> If I had already decided against grabbing the ball, I would grab the camera with the wide angle lens attached and get ready for a GREAT shot of the invetiable mayhem. The photos from the scrum would sell, so you would profit from "The Ball" without compromising your journalistic integrity by grabbing it.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Stafford (Houston) | TX | US | Posted: 12:27 AM on 06.18.04
->> If it landed where I could reach it without getting up I would grab it. If it was across the pit and I was the only one near it (no fans to jump the rail and grab it), I would get up and get it. Otherwise I'd just try to survive (and get some shots of) the melee that ensued!

And without a doubt, I'd give it back to him.
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Patrick J. Smith, Photographer, Student/Intern
San Jaun Capistrano | CA | USA | Posted: 12:49 AM on 06.18.04
->> Well if it were to occur at Wrigley Field against my beloved Cubs I would definately throw it back onto the field.

j/k I too would grab it and give back to Mr. Bonds.
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Jeffrey Haderthauer, Student/Intern, Photographer
Norman | OK | USA | Posted: 1:54 AM on 06.18.04
->> griffey
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Patrick J. Smith, Photographer, Student/Intern
San Jaun Capistrano | CA | USA | Posted: 2:45 AM on 06.18.04
->> OOPS! Yeah I dont know what I was thinking, but it was probably because I was looking at Brad Mangin's shot of Barry Bonds in his World Series Gallery.

Bonds/Griffey either way I'd throw it back.
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Alan Stewart, Photographer
Corydon | IN | USA | Posted: 10:45 AM on 06.18.04
->> If I didn't have to move, I'd grab it and would probably just give it to Griffey without expecting anything in return. If he offered a signed ball or something, I might take it, but I wouldn't hold out for $$$.

Back in my younger days, I worked at a baseball park as a vendor (hot dogs, frosty malts, pops, Cracker Jack, etc.) and would get foul balls all the time. I'd eventually pass them on to younger kids, who usually acted as if I'd given them the world...
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Rick Burnham, Photographer
Enfield | CT | USA | Posted: 11:56 AM on 06.18.04
->> Like others I'd give it to him. I think it means more to him, or at least I hope it would, than some guy who is trying to make a buck.

In return, I'd love to have my photo taken with him and the ball and down the line maybe have him sign it as a momento.
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Colin Corneau, Photographer
Brandon | MB | Canada | Posted: 12:35 PM on 06.18.04
->> I would look at it as an unbeleivable opportunity to top up the ol' karma.

I'd meet with Griffey, ask him if he wants to work with me to sell it off and have the proceeds go to a charity. Win-win, he looks like a good guy and I get a nice fat tax receipt (OK, OK...maybe a LITTLE greed on my part, but I'd still go with the charity angle).
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Jason Grow, Photographer
Gloucester | MA | USA | Posted: 12:47 PM on 06.18.04
->> I'd give it back too, no, really I would... but it isn't unethical to catch a ball that's hit directly at you... your purpose may not be to collect souvenirs, but when they collect you it's not a no-no to pick it up.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington | IL | United States | Posted: 1:10 PM on 06.18.04
->> I'm with Patrick. No way a visitor hitting a homer in Wrigley stays in the stands.

Anyother place, I'd just be looking to remain alive. How many can squeeze into a photobox?
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Brad Mills, Photographer
Falls Church | VA | USA | Posted: 1:15 PM on 06.18.04
->> For me it's a no-brainer to not keep it. Give it to the media rep. They would probably be by your side before Griffey got around the bases.

I would think that you would not want to pick it up, however, at least not right away in this case. That ball will get to you pretty fast, and I would think you would want to be getting Griffey's reaction, after all he would be looking right at you.

Above all, just don't jump on a 4 year-old to get the ball...
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Michael Bundy, Photographer
Katy | TX | USA | Posted: 6:25 PM on 06.18.04
->> I'd throw it back.
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Deborah Rogers, Photographer
Bethlehem | PA | USA | Posted: 7:01 PM on 06.18.04
->> Thomas, what are you really pondering? Anyone with heart enough to take brilliant photos will respond to greatness with greatness.
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Bill Ross, Photographer, Assistant
Colorado Springs | CO | USA | Posted: 8:15 PM on 06.18.04
->> Bring a decoy ball with you just in case... If it lands in the photobox... Toss the decoy into the stands and then toss the real ball to one of his teammates... Might save you a broken limb. ;)
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Rick Burnham, Photographer
Enfield | CT | USA | Posted: 11:06 PM on 06.20.04
->> The 19 year old who caught the ball gave it to Griffey.
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David Stoner, Photographer
Atlanta | GA | USA | Posted: 11:40 AM on 06.21.04
->> OK...I'm the bad guy in this bunch. No way I give it back. Griffey makes millions per year. Every year. I make thousands per year. If that's my lottery ticket, I would think he could fork up a little cash to allow me a less cramped lifestyle, and he get's almost ALL of that money back with his next paycheck. He could sign autographs for 4 hours (for pay) and make as much as you're saying it would go for...so I'd either demand the money, or call LeLands to auction it off (assuming I made it back home without being mugged). By the way, it's not unethical to pick up a baseball when you're working. You just can't give it to the fans...and I certainly wouldn't jump into a melee to get one...but just the same, if it came to me - I think that was the question. The kid that gave McGwire's baseball back to him barely got a noticeable glance from Mark. I would have taken the $1M from the sale of that at the time, and moved on. I'm not necessarily a money-driven person...but these athletes aren't realistic. They make TONS of money - an unreasonable amount of money that most people don't see in their LIFETIME, and yet, they want a personal item back, in trade for a signed jersey and a couple bats, and they think that THAT is a realistic reward for recovering an item that COULD be sold for MUCH more. Maybe most people want to do the right thing...but I'm on the money in that scenario...and for that reason, I'll probably never have the opportunity to make that sale...but I can deal with that.
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Thread Title: "Well I hadn't really thought about it...."
Thread Started By: Thomas E. Witte
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