(Manchester NH) The final was 9-6 and it felt like 96 in the sun/heat this afternoon.
The Binghamton Rumble Ponies defeated the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on a very warm Sunday afternoon.
Even the seats were hot! I moved into an open seat closer to the Binghamton dugout and realized quickly that it was too hot for long-term use.
I enjoy going to Portland (Sea Dogs) and Manchester (Fisher Cats) to see Double A baseball. They’re close to home (Amesbury MA) and there is plenty to see.
The biggest of the AA stars are friendly to fans and seem happy to be where they are.
It is certain that some of the players will advance to the major leagues in a few years. Others reach AA and get no further. You never know as you watch them.
There is a little more certainty regarding the future of the players that were drafted in the early rounds and signed to large bonuses.
Two of the Toronto Blue Jays top three prospects are with the Fisher Cats.
I saw Austin Martin (#2 prospect – 1st round in 2020) last time but missed Jordan Groshans (#3 prospect – 1st round in 2018).
This time I caught them both.
I did, however, miss out on Gabriel Moreno (#7 prospect). He has statistically been NH’s best player so far this season.
The top Mets’ prospect with Binghamton is 3B Mark Vientos (#8).
Many of the Mets’ best young players are at the level below Binghamton. When Binghamton comes back to either Portland or New Hampshire later in the season, some of them may have been promoted to the Rumble Ponies. I might want to be there.
Everything today was shot with my 600mm lens. The length of that thing minimizes the danger I face when foul balls head my way.
That lens also gives me a chance for good on-field shots. In this game, there was an outfield collision that I was able to pick up in focus.
A good piece of successful sports photography is luck. Most of the time you don’t know where the special shot will come from. You wait….and hope.
I seldom stay long is the same location. In high school softball/baseball games, I usually switch sides, if it’s possible, about halfway through. At today’s stadium (Northeast Delta Dental) there were plenty of good, available vantage points. Even behind the backstop was available because no fans were dining there.
By moving around, I lucked into two early-in-the-game home run celebrations. Austin Martin had one and Manny Rodriguez had the other.
In the Austin Martin homer (to left) celebration, I got Austin and Jordan Groshans (next batter) doing the home-run bump.
When a #9 batter hits a home run that’s likely to be special and that was the case with the one Manny clouted to rightfield.
Manny was very excited and his teammates were as well. I was at an angle where the dugout celebrating came my way. I even got one of his teammates in the process of pouring water on Manny.
I like pictures with several players in them. I had some today with Austin Martin and Jordan Groshans together. Those two could very well be playing together in Toronto in a few years.
I continue to recommend that you take in a minor league game. The price is right and the games are easy to get to. Both times I’ve been to Manchester I’ve seen parents there with little kids getting an early taste of professional baseball.
I advise doing some homework on the two teams playing. Know who each team’s best prospects are and try to get autographs and/or pictures of them. Consider it a challenge. I got Bryce Harper and Mookie Betts that way. Who knows who you might get?
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerable if you click on them.)