Kelloggs Cards

Kelloggs Cards

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Advantages of Being Early and Going to Batting Practice at Wrigley Field

In either 1987 or 1988 I entered a Kodak contest to photograph batting practice at Wrigley Field.  I'm too lazy to check into exactly when this occurred, but someday I may look into it.  I could look for ticket stubs since it might have been my only time that season that I didn't take my usual seat in the left-field bleachers.

Many weeks later, after I'd given up hope about this contest, I got word that I was one of about 70 winners.  I was given two tickets and we were going to be allowed to go on the field to take pictures during batting practice.

The game was a weekday afternoon game against the Phillies.  The seats that they gave us were in the back of the lower deck - definitely not great seats so we weren't off to a good start.

It sounded like we'd be able to take photos from the designated spot next to the dugout.  More bad news followed.  My brother joined me at the game and we found out that only one of us was allowed to take the photos.

The next question was how would they put 70 of us in the press areas on the field at once.  Then more bad news.  They told us that we'd go there for about 10 minutes each.

As they explained the process I took a chance.  Everyone hurried to the front to get on the field right away.  As they took the first group of 10-15 I went directly to the back of the line.  Surprisingly, the first group was actually allowed to get access to the field.  That certainly wouldn't happen in today's safety first world.

The group that rushed to get onto the field first got to take pictures of the pitchers and non-starters.  If they'd been to batting practice they would have realized that this was the normal order for batting practice.

They kept shuffling groups off and on the field as I waited impatiently at the back of the group.  My biggest worry was that they'd run out of time even though batting practice always ended at the same time.

Finally, it was time for the last group.  The Cubs timed it well and we were able to get on the field to take pictures of the final six or so Cubs taking their swings.  It worked out great for me as that group included Sandberg, Dawson, Moreland and Davis.

It was nice to take the photos from the first-base side of the batting cage, but my biggest memory of the day isn't even about the Cubs.  since the Phillies were going to hit next, they were starting to linger on the field.  Mike Schmidt came past me and stood against the cage talking to the Cubs.  So, while I was taking pictures I was also listening to the conversation and getting Schmidt in some photos.    




2 comments:

  1. Do you still have any of those photos?

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  2. I have plenty, but I'll need to find them from a hidden photo album since those were the dark ages and the film needed to be developed. I did take one roll of black and white which turned out nicely.

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