This is apparently real life; it doesn’t seem possible but multiple sources confirm that the Royals are one win away from the World Series. One thing that tickles me about this Playoff team – among many things – is how many of them I’ve shot in Omaha.
It’s been a privilege meeting and shooting these guys who somehow, some damn how, have stolen the hearts of the sports world at large. I haven’t seen so many people in sports media just enjoy a pure sports spectacle in a long time. Maybe ever.
Here are all the former Storm Chasers and O Royals, as seen by a handful of my cameras through several years of learning on the job.
Tim Collins, doing a slip ‘n’ slide on beer and a plastic drop cloth. As one does.
Salvador Perez, with bonus Mike Jirschele! This is one of my favorites, because Jirsch was in the middle of trying to make a serious point to Salvador, and Salvador just cuts him off mid-sentence, pulls him over to where I was standing, and asks him to mug for a picture. And Jirsch, not normally a fan of mid-game shenanigans, did it!
Billy Butler, looking sheepish. He has stayed in the Majors for so long I don’t actually have any photos of him playing in an Omaha uniform. I was got here in 2007, when he still played outfield and was on the way up, and I watched in 2008 when he was demoted and all the Omaha players hated on him the whole time.
There is not much of a larger point here. Baseball is awesome; these dudes were wee minor leaguers before they started hogging airtime on SportsCenter; I want them to win today.
There’s Always This Year?