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Vernon Wells is traded, photographer feels safer

Steve Russell - Staff Photographer

The Toronto Blue Jays have traded Vernon Wells!

While I believe that he has been a good ambassador for baseball in the city, I feel safer for it!

As a photographer I have been kicked, punched, fallen, hit by a hockey puck and hit by two baseballs.

Those two baseballs have come off the bat of Vernon Wells, something about his swing sends that ball towards me. He has hit me in the wrist and another time a ricochet nailed me right between the eyes. Thankfully both times I was not seriously injured, a nive "tattoo" of the balls laces on the wrist and a bloody nose and minor swelling.

Both times I was on the third base side, his back to me while he was at the plate! I'm always aware when Vernon goes up to the plate. Sometimes we'll aim out cameras at the infield, but we always keep an eye on the batter, Vernon is my reminder to the rule. The ball that hit me in the wrist could have been worse, I managed to duck behind my 400 f/2.8 just in time. 

I'll miss Vernon, but feel a little safer. The only thing that might upset the new found sense of security would be if the Leafs traded for Ryan Miller.


April 9, 2008, Something about Vernon's swing would send the ball "backwards" to the third base photo pit. Vernon Wells fouls the ball off as the Toronto Blue Jays get swept in their three game series against the Oakland Athletics with a 3-2 loss in 12 innings at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

March 1, 2004 - Vernon Wells makes his way in from centre field with his runners while completing a one hopper fielding drill as the Toronto Blue Jays workout at The Toronto Blue Jays Dunedin, Florida training complex.

February 21, 20040 - Infielder Orlando Hudson and Vernon Wells leap for a fly ball in front of Chris Woodward. The Toronto Blue Jays begin to arrive at their Dunedin, Florida training complex.

February 20, 2004 - Outfielder Vernon Wells gives his best Italian soccer Star imitation by faking out the crew after hopping off a four foot (1.3 metre) drop. Wells was also sporting the new Jays uniform during filming a promotional spot at Knology Park.

July 6, 2007 - Vernon Wells hits a two RBI single as the Toronto Blue Jays host the Cleveland Indians at the Roger's Centre.

May 30, 2009 Vernon Wells just manages to get out of the way of this brush back pitch from Brad Penny as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 to share second place in the division.

June 13, 2009 Centre fielder Vernon Wells just misses making the catch on a ball that bounces off the top of the wall for a double for Cody Ross  as the Toronto Blue Jays lose a Saturday afternoon game to the Florida Marlins 6-5.

September 7, 2009 Centre fielder Vernon Wells chases a ball to the wall in the first inning as the Toronto Blue Jays lose to the Minnesota Twins 6-3.

June 13, 2009 Vernon Wells runs out a grounder and reaches on an error as the Toronto Blue Jays lose a Saturday afternoon game to the Florida Marlins 6-5.

June 13, 2009 Vernon Wells tosses his helmet after failing to run out a grounder as the Toronto Blue Jays lose a Saturday afternoon game to the Florida Marlins 6-5.

April 9, 2009  Marco Scutaro #19, Vernon Wells, centre and Aaron Hill, right celebrate as the Toronto  Blue Jays come back from a two run deficit to beat the Detroit Tigers 6-2.

July 6, 2010  Toronto Blue Jays  pinch hitter Vernon Wells strikes out for the last out of the game as the Toronto Blue Jays lose to the Minnesota Twins 7-6.

April 18, 2004 - Vernon Wells gets one of four hits in the game as the Toronto Blue Jays drop to 3-9 on the season after getting shutout by the Baltimore Orioles.


See also Steve Russell getting hit in the face with a puck!

From the archives, Roy Halladay's time as a Jay 



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I love VW - nice and classy guy - and will miss seeing him in center field. He usually annoys me with his "swing at the first pitch" approach though I understand it has worked for him statistically. I will miss him as a Jay, but do realize he isn't the clubhouse leader this team needs and that is no fault of his. I don't believe his disposition allows for the kind of verbal, rah-rah, in-your-face tyoe of leader the team thinks it needs. Thanks for the pictures; they provoke a lot of memories.

Great pics, Steve!
I'm sure you will be safer with Vernon Wells gone now! I always wondered how you guys protected yourselves from foul balls down there beside the dugout. Now I know ...... you didn't. Ah well, ya gotta be tough to get the good shots, eh. Be careful while shooting at the Grand Prix of Toronto there, buddy. Cars do a lot more damage than baseballs. Again, nice pics!

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