Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Seattle Mariners

I had an incredible experience at Safeco Field on Sunday. The Seattle Mariners hosted the Anaheim Angels after defeating them the previous two days in a row. For the first 3 innings I was allowed in the press pit to photograph the game. I have to admit, I absolutely love shooting sports! It is so intense. Since I was very young I have been a huge Mariners fan. My Grandmother used to watch every game and knew pretty much everything there was to know about every player that ever played for them. Each time a Mariner would score a run she would go out on the lake she lived on and ring a super loud bell over and over again. All the neighbors knew when she rang the bell, the Mariners just scored a run. It was her that got me started collecting Baseball cards and one of my greatest memories as a kid was going to watch Gaylord Perry pitch at the Kingdome with my Grandparents.

Being down on the field is so amazing. You get to witness the comraderie between the players and best of all you can see the joy in the eyes of the fans as the players toss a little boy a baseball or sign an autograph or simply offer a handshake or a high five. The Seattle Mariners are an awesome baseball team and it was an absolute pleasure to photograph the game. Below are a few of my favorite shots from the day. I hope you like them.

These images are property of Mat Hayward Photography and are NOT authorized for use in any way shape or form at anytime by anyone. Thanks.

It's not uncommon to find players signing autographs for the fans before the game.
Pitcher Miguel Batista just before the game started.
Even though he's a player for a division rival, you have to take your hat off to Vladimir Guerrero. This guy is dominant! Where I was stationed on the field you could hear the bats swooshing through the air as the Angels warmed up while on deck. It really changes your perspective of the intensity of the game when you are that close.
Just before stepping up to the plate Ichiro looked right at me as if to say "Watch this!"
It's as though he knew it would happen. When Ichiro swings, he usually connects.a>
Pitcher Cha Seung Baek was told two hours before the game that he was going to be the starter. Check out the intensity shown in his face a split second before the ball is released.
Richie Sexson is always on first base. It's especially nice to see him there when the Mariner's are at the plate!
Another stolen base for the super speedy Ichiro and Erick Ayber of the Angels is mad about it!
The fans go nuts when a fly ball heads their way! I love the expression on the face of the guy in the white hat.
A close play at 2nd.
I think he's out at the plate!
The Umpire Agrees!
Mike Morse suffered a subluxation injury on his left shoulder during this play. Ichiro was there to back him up. After the play, Ichiro urged Mike to sit out of the game but his determination was stronger than his shoulder and he played on.
They say Vladimir Guerrero can hit anything...not this time! Notice how far away the ball is.
Double Play!
Strong effort by Ibanez on the last play of the game.
What it's all about.


John said...

awesome pictures! u gotta find out who that man was with the little boy and get him a copy of that pic. don't forget today is yer Mums birthday.
Unca J

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. What great pictures, but what I especially loved was the hotdog with cheese that you mailed me! Thanks so much!