From the start of high school until well after college I could not care less about sports. Music was my outlet. I started a band with my brother in our parents’ garage and later, when I left home for college, I continued to record songs by myself in my small apartment and play open-mic nights. But, later on in life, specifically after the failure of a significant relationship, I surveyed all that had come before.
It was then that I remembered Dodger Stadium.
My father would drive the two of us from our neighborhood on the outskirts of Hollywood to watch the Dodgers play. I remember my first game vividly. My father bought me a pennant, one of those triangular flags covered with the team’s logo, and wrote the date of that game on it in big capital letters with a ballpoint pen. I hung it up in my room with thumbtacks. My fandom grew from there. In elementary school when the teacher asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I answered without any hesitation: shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers. My father signed me up for little league and even coached the team. But, after the failure of my parents’ relationship, I gave up on baseball and picked up a guitar.
I discovered a latent fascination with photography when I was remembering the Dodgers and my father. I was still playing music but somewhere along the way I lost what it was I wanted to say with a song (and it was too late to pick up my bat and glove and try to crack into the majors). And, when I wasn’t out taking pictures, I started watching Dodgers games again.
This series of photos is where these two interests meet.
At the start of the 2016 baseball season I went to a Minor League game in Tacoma, WA. Unlike at Major League stadiums I was able to get much closer to the action. But, it wasn’t action that I was trying to capture. And it wasn’t superstar baseball players making millions, either. I wanted to capture what I consider to be community: there are photos of volunteer cheerleaders, children in the stands, and coaches who are past their prime playing years. There are also photos of minor league baseball players trying to make it to the big leagues — sustained by the support of their families and friends many miles away.
I call this series simply, “Minor Leagues”. For me it isn’t about the game of baseball. It is about dedication: to your craft be it photography, baseball, music, whatever, to your family, to your community, to whatever it is that you love.
It’s been years since my father and I last spoke. But, when I’m watching a Dodgers game on TV I like to think he’s watching, too.
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