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|| News Item: Posted 1998-10-21

Worth A Look
By Robert Hanashiro

I just picked up Ron Modra's new book, "Reflections of the Game, Lives in Baseball" and if you're a baseball it is definitely worth the $30.

(A link to this book on is found at the bottom of this page.)

Modra, a longtime contributor to Sports Illustrated, has compiled over 25 years of his work into an interesting look at the game through his images, his own words and essays written by the likes of Nolan Ryan, Dwight Gooden, Kirby Puckett, Johnny Bench, Bob Costas, Bob Ueckker and many others.

Published by Willow Creek Press, "Reflections" contains over 200 photographs. The picture editor on the project was SI's Maureen Grise.

Highlights include a great home plate sequence of Scott Brosius (then of the A's) being tagged out, yelling at the ump and getting booted from the game; the Pudge Rodriguez image that graces the cover, Craig Nettles outstretched, horizontal to the ground as he dives for a line drive, Mickey
Mantle sitting alone in the stands, etc., etc., etc.

But what I got the most out of the book were from the stories behind the images and the reflections on his subjects. Whether it's giving Hank Aaron a ride back to the Brewers' spring training hotel in his beater van in 1975 or forgetting to load his camera during a shoot of Kirk Gibson or what a
pain-in-the-ass David Justice was in arranging a portrait of him and his wife (at the time) Halle Berry, these stories are priceless.

But to me, the best story was about getting blown off by the Giants' Barry Bonds for a cover shoot in 1994. Writes Modra: "If you blow-off a photographer, you're really hurting yourself because his job is to make you look good. But blow-off a writer, and he or she will probably write about

And he did.... the title of the story" I'm Barry Bonds and You're Not."

'Nuff this book!

For a look at the cover, use the link to the book on, below.

* * *

A doubletruck in the "Leading Off" section of this week's Sports Illustrated features a photograph of UCLA's Cade McNown doing his best Linda Blair/Exorcist imitation...throwing up in a huddle during the Bruins' overtime win against Oregon.

The photograph by Robert Beck has caused a bit of a stir on the National Press Photographers' Association list (NPPA-L). Writes Mark Hertzberg of the Racine (Wisc) Journal-Times: "The envelope has been pushed just a little bit more in this week's Sports Illustrated ... A feature story back in the magazine says the team has what it takes to win a national championship. Somehow, though, this seems like a new frontier in how to illustrate that point."

Personally I was not offended by the image as Hertzberg was, but of course one usually does not see things like this happen at a prep game on a cold Friday night in Wisconsin!

Hey Mark...lighten up!

Nice job Mister Beck!

Related Links:
Reflections of the Game, Lives in Baseball

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