Poor Kennewick National. For some reason, I never catch them at their good points.
After following Kennewick American's 13U regional win last year and seeing KN's team go down in flames, I figured some reciprocity was in order when I headed out to KN's field for the 10U state tournament last Friday. As it happens, I just missed KN's game and covered KA instead.
The two local teams faced off in the Saturday championship game, so I started out by shooting from near the KN dugout. It was oppressively hot and KN had some fun and clever ways of keeping cool:
And when KN scored a couple runners off a wild pitch during their seven-run outburst in the second inning,
I knew I had a viable option if KN won the championship and I botched the post-game celebrations.
It was shadier to shoot from the KA dugout, which also offered more options, and I headed to that side. The heat mixed with an equally demoralizing deficit led to some worn-out looking KA players:
But when Chance Hailey homered to bring the lead down to one in the top of the sixth, the game got exciting again:
KN opted to walk a batter in front of Easton Bowe to load the bases with two outs and he promptly blasted a grand slam for the go-ahead runs. I figured I could get something similar of Easton's home plate celebration, but the scrum was too tight around him and this messy frame was the best I could muster:
I knew I hadn't nailed it and was kicking myself for failing to capture that excitement. After all, it was the first grand slam I can remember seeing at any baseball game I've covered since starting down this career path in 2005.
When KN wasn't able to answer, I ran for the dog pile, trying to be mindful of where Easton ended up. That's when I failed to notice the impending celebratory ice water bath. Instead, I got an obscured jube and nothing from the splash at all:
Holding back the urge to curse, I got a decent moment after the douse,
which was an option along with this quiet hug with Easton's dad and coach Rick Bowe:
I ended up selecting this shot because it featured Easton more prominently and has a classic sort of feel to it:
It's a little different from your typical celebration shot, but I hope it captured some of the joy of youth baseball.
I was reminded of this a few days later while covering a lackluster Legion game between the Hanford Flames and Wenatchee Packers. After being shut out of six innings, Wenatchee walked Hanford's designated hitter, which opened it up for Pete Hanson to hit a grand slam to win 4-1:
Sure, it was only the first game of a doubleheader and no championship implications, but I still expected a little more excitement than that.
Even though I feel like my personal coverage has slighted KN, I'm sure it's evened out over the years. Just like seeing two grand slams within a week has been a fluke, so too could my blue scheduling.
For dealing with overstepping boys in blue...
The ACLU has released an app that teaches you your rights when dealing with police and allows for surreptitious recording — even sending recorded clips to their servers to avoid deletion.
ESPN the Magazine's annual (tasteful) nude portraits of athletes are here again for their Body issue. It's safe for work and an excellent collection as always.
And with no segue, which kind of fits this unfocused post, here's a funny look at PDN's new magazine supposedly for women photojournalists. Judging by my Facebook news feed, this news was not well-received by professional women who so often must feel like they're working in a boys' club.