Behind the scenes at Photo Day, and the Draft: Meach’s Mashers vs. Clarkie’s Crushers.
People who have been in baseball for a number of decades will remember a
time when Photo Day was a long, grueling, never-ending process
involving, oftentimes, dozens and dozens of photographers.
the photographer pool, and the companies that employ them, have shrunk
considerably. That can be attributed to a few things — fewer baseball
card companies, fewer newspapers, smaller (or non-existent)
budgets. Still, there are many media outlets that need full sets of
headshots of Major League baseball players. And they have exactly one day to obtain them.
Day involves credentialed photographers lining up in a room and
shooting every player, manager, coach and select members of the support
staff. Basically, anyone who has a chance to be on a ballpark
video board or make the news in any capacity has his picture taken on
The process begins with the player holding up a sign
with his name on it. That identifies who he is — a vital step when you
consider the thousands of images that will be entered into a
database. Then the player poses for three or four more pictures with
each photographer, going from station to station until the process is complete.
from seven media entities attended the Astros’ Photo Day on Thursday:
Getty Images, Houston Chronicle, Associated Press, VIP Photo, MLB Photos
and Topps, as well as a freelance photographer that the Astros hire to snap photos for their files.
headshots will eventually end up in media guides, newspapers and game
programs; on video boards, baseball cards and web sites.
Day is also vital to the team’s ballpark entertainment staff. They shoot
the players in front of a “green screen,” and those videos will
eventually turn into the cool graphics you see on the scoreboard during lineup introductions before games start.
are a few images from Photo Day, and for a video tour of the event,
click here (with special thanks to media relations rep Sally Gunter for
the early-morning footage that captures the photographers setting up for the big day).
a warmup to the first Grapefruit League game, the Astros will play an
Intrasquad game on Sunday at 11 a.m. on one of the backfields at Osceola
County Stadium. The teams, managed by first base coach Bobby
Meacham (Meach’s Mashers) and third base coach Dave Clark (Clarkie’s
Crushers), were selected during a “draft” Thursday morning following the daily coaches meeting.
regular starters will not play in the Intrasquad game (to avoid
needless injuries) and will instead work out that day as they normally
do. The rest of the spring roster was eligible for the draft,
and manager Brad Mills’ instructions for the big game were two-fold:
have fun, and feel free to trash talk.
Meacham won the coin flip
and opted to defer his first pick to Clark, in order to be able to
draft a pitcher first. Clark drafted Brian Bogusevic, and Meacham followed by selecting Fernando Abad.
not-so-top-secret meeting was opened to the Social Media contingent,
which consists of one person (yours truly). We captured the essence of
the draft — a coin-flip and a bunch of confusing rules I couldn’t follow — in this video, along with these photos: