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|| News Item: Posted 1998-10-21

The Quest for 62
By Rich Pilling, Major League Baseball

My heart stopped... damn those Canon ni-cad batteries. I'm shooting McGwire, it's Sunday (9/6) and he's looking to hit home run #61.

The big man swings and hits a powerful blast to left field. I know that it's long enough to be a home run, Mac knows it too, but he's not sure if the ball will be fair or foul. I hit the shutter just after contact with the ball...and I get one frame! That's right, another dead ni-cad battery! F--k that system. Yeah, I know I should have checked my battery just like I check to see what frame my film is at before each important moment.... but I didn't. Mac stood at home plate, bat in hand watching the ball, and thank heavens...the ball was foul.

I rapidly changed batteries and was ready for the next pitch in nano seconds. And guess what, that f--king battery was also dead. Another battery change and I was ready for the next pitch.

Well, Mac didn't hit #62 that after my heart started beating again and I changed my Depends...I was ready to record the historical 61st home run the next day. And, did I check my battery's strength...nearly every at bat. Did I learn my lesson? Probably not. You can't teach an old
photographer anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Home run #62 was awesome. No jitters or raw nerves for me, I was as calm as if it was just another at bat during the season. However, after he hit the home run and did the celebration thing, I looked down at my arms, and the hair on my arms was standing up. What a rush to witness history being made.

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