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WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOUR TEAM’S LOSING…

‘It ain’t over till it’s over.’ Thanks, Yogi Berra. Yesterday, the legendary baseball player died at age 90. He was known for his catchphrases and his catcher skills – he won 10 championships with the Yankees, and appeared in more World Series games than any other player. He was also a Hall of Famer, named MVP three times, and inspired a cartoon character. And he knew that ‘when you come to a fork in the road, take it’ (yes, that was another ‘Yogi-ism ‘ attributed to him) — Berra became a MLB manager and coach after he retired from the field. 

I was always a Yogi fan even before his great “Yogi-isms” began. I loved him because he always reminded me of the last guy to be picked to play. But after the game started you quickly realized he should of be picked first!

“You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.” Yogi of course

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #701 – PUT ME IN COACH, I’M NOT TOO OLD TO PLAY

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As a kid, I loved baseball. I loved playing it, watching it and I most certainly treasured riding my bike to the closest store to get a pack of baseball cards. Mike, Jackie and me would round up coke bottles, okay they weren’t all “coke” bottles, but we didn’t care the brand. We could get .02 cents for a returnable bottle, the original form of recycling. Anyhow, when you had found yourself 20-25 coke bottle , you were good to loudly ride your rattle of bottles down to the store. You had enough money for a big pack of 10 cards and enough left over for a cold pop to drink as you unwrapped your treasures. You had to be careful to not drop the bubblegum as it was usually o old and brittle that it would shatter if dropped.

The world series was in September and played in the daytime. I stealthily rigged a transistor radio (google it) in my pocket and ran a earpiece up through my sleeve taped it to my finger so I could lean my head on my hand and listen to the game while in class. I thought I was so secretive until one day my fifth grade teacher Mr Profit asked loudly “what’s the score Jimmy?”

And I won’t get started of the pull on my heart strings listening to John Fogerty’s ” Put me in Coach” song.  Or the “magic water that falls from my eyes” that still come from watching  Robert Redford in The Natural or Kevin Cosner in “For the Love of the Game”…………all of those were about so much more than just baseball.

Spring training is just around the corner, get ready to play.  en theos ††† jim

IMAGES OF SMALL THINGS FROM THE BIGGEST COUNTY IN TEXAS #633 – A LOSS OF INNOCENCE

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I made this photo in the early 1960’s. Over fifty years ago when I was just a young teen. It changed my life and in a strange way took away from me more than it ever gave.

I loved baseball and photography. I had complained to my dad how awful the sports photos were in our daily paper. My dad suggested I do something about it. Go make some good photos and sell them to the paper. I did. They started buying my photos to the tune of five dollars each. At the age of 12, I was taking in an easy hundred dollars a week making photos. Additionally, parents would buy prints at the same price. A pretty good allowance for a young teen in the early sixties. Football followed baseball, then faded into basketball and then returned to springtime and baseball.

This photo was made on my very first night of attempting to make baseball photos. Beginners luck and all that. Heck looking through a twin lens reflex, everything was backwards and reversed, it was like trying to cut your own hair in a mirror. Two or three times a week, after playing a game and still in my baseball uniform and cleats, I would exchange my baseball glove for a rebuilt and battered Rolleiflex and a used Metz electronic flash. I had to respectfully argue with coaches and umpires that I was with the newspaper and had a right to be there. From the Irving Daily News, I had an editor, Jack Harkryder and a sports editor, Hardy Price that stood by me and taught me to stand my ground. I was a working member of the press and had the right and reason to be there. I also had the loving encouragement of my dad who had served in WWII as a Navy combat photographer. He critiqued and taught me along the way. He provided me with MOST of the tools needed for my journey.

This image went on to win several photo contests. The best was a National photo contest sponsored by Kodak ( the yellow God of Rochester) an event that won me two hundred and fifty dollars. I was hooked.

But real quickly, I was hooked to the wrong passion. I quickly started seeing and finding ways to make money with my photography. I lost the innocence and the wonder of just making photos for the sole purpose of feeding my soul. I was more interested in feeding my wallet and not my heart.

I  remained on that same path (and it ain’t the narrow one) for far too long. I am returning to the sheer joy in the delight of finding images that warm my heart. I truly believe that this pleasure of feeding my heart will provide for me. And if it doesn’t, I will die with a very full heart. While you can’t take a lot with you, I believe a full heart stays with you to the end.

Follow a path set by your heart, not money!††† en theos †††jw