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The most dangerous sport for me.

Out of all the sports I have covered for the Toronto Star, I have to say that baseball has to be the most dangerous.

The lull in action dominate the game and when action happens, it is fast and furious.
These extremes in action are what make the game dangerous for fans and photographers.
We sit in photo wells at the end of the dugouts, a little over 90 feet (30 metres) from the plate.
When a player fouls one off or overthrows a base fans and photographers duck for cover.

Fans reach for a slow roller of a ball during batting practice before a June game against the Boston Red Sox.

I have been hit twice by the 145 grams of baseball, the first was a couple years ago,
Vernon Wells pulled a foul ball straight at me, 
I remember seeing the ball bounce once. 
I turtled by hiding behind my 400 f/2.8 lens, 
the ball struck me in my wrist, leaving it swollen and tattooing me with the baseball's stitching for two weeks.

Some fans end up with a sore hand while others end up with a souvenir, rarely both.

The second was this past Canada Day, the ball screamed into the photo pit,
well to my right, it hit hard off the back of the pit,
as I and rest of photographers turned to follow the flight of the ball,
the ball greeted my face, although it had hit the wall and bounced on the floor, it hurt!
It hit me on the nose, pushing my glasses into my face.
Blood began to trickle then gush right away.
A paramedic seated behind me treated me right away.
I missed an inning an a bit before getting back to my stool and finishing the game.
My nose swelled a little and I had a minor head ache.
I think I got off lucky and am constantly amazed that more fans aren't injured at games.

Recently a photographer in Pittburgh, Post-Gazette staff photographer John Heller 
avoided injury while filing pictures but his laptop did not.
The poor guy, the whole incident was caught on video and wound up as a featured video on the Major League Baseball site.

Jason Bay reaches in vain for a foul ball.

Steve Russell


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That's one ratty vest on the photog whose laptop got smacked! You guys are much more dapper.

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