The making of these images would not have been possible without the generous help and support of the Sand Gnats and Washington Nationals organization. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Mike Kasino, Ken Shepherd and Tim Wood for providing me with a press pass and virtually unlimited access to Grayson Stadium. Brian Sheaffer has been instrumental in his support of my project and his willingness to think "outside the box" for a solution to the task of displaying my prints in the stadium. The ability to hang an exhibition of these images at Grayson would not be a reality without the support of new team owner John Simmons.
Sand Gnats general manager Bobby Henley said "our house is your house" and was enthusiastic about my project from the start. I owe my heartfelt thanks to Henley and his staff of Ricky Bones, Joel Chimelis, Beth Jarrett and Christin Stanek. In particular, Beth Jarrett played a critical role in bringing me into the world of the players.
To the players, I am eternally grateful for allowing me the opportunity to bear witness to your daily lives. These pictures are a testament to our collaboration. I wish you all the best in your pursuit of the majors. The pitchers who let me share bubblegum and sunflower seeds were instrumental in pulling me off the field, onto the pine and eventually into the dugout. I owe my greatest thanks to Gerald Plexico, Devin Perrin, Anthony Pearson, Warmar Gomez, Nick Long and Robert Rodriguez for helping me to bridge this gap. I am also thankful that Brett Reid, Brett Nyquist, David Thorne, Pierre Luc Marceau, Tom Mitchell, Daryl Thompson, Chris Goodman and Armando Galarraga were willing to talk to me once I made it into the bullpen. Thanks to Reggie Fitzpatrick for keeping me in stitches while on the road. Thanks to Antonio Sucre for smiling in the face of adversity. I wish the best of luck to Saloman Manriquez, Josh Whitesell, Kory Casto, Jason Conlisk, Rogearvin Bernadina, Franklyn Jiminez, Luis Apodaca, Jerry Owens, Trey Webb, Clint Everts, Josh Emerick, Jason Bergmann, Seth Bynum and Edgardo Baez. Play hard.
To the incredible faculty in the photography department at the Savannah College of Art and Design, I am indebted. My abiding thanks to Tom Fischer for critiquing my work and pushing me forward. I owe an enormous debt to Andy Moxon, Rebecca Nolan and Craig Stevens for pushing me through the editing, exhibition and ultimate completion of this project. Steve Bliss, Steve Mosch, Jenny Kuhla and Pete Christman have all made a lasting difference in how I use the camera.
Special thanks to all my fellow grad students but especially Aaron Bible, Jeremy Blake, Keri McCleod and Nick Silberg, who have toiled alongside me in the darkroom and ultimately contributed to my growth as a photographer and person.
Stephen "Elmo" Weeks has been a great friend throughout this project, sharing space in the press box during lulls in the action, and helping move my career forward.
I am grateful to Joseph Byrd, who taught me a great deal and provided me use of equipment and studio resources during the summer of 2004. Thanks also to Doug Currie of Joseph Byrd and Associates.
I am thankful to Heath Moore at Image is Everything for his hard work in the printing of the four color 4 x 8 foot images that appear in the walkways of the concourse at Grayson. Image is Everything also did a fantastic job printing the exhibition guide. I must thank Emily Baker for doing the graphic design of the gallery guide for the exhibition. Meg Beckeum has been a tremendous support in advising me on promotional efforts with media.
I am appreciative of Willard Larrimore for all of his assistance in the assembly and construction of the wooden frames that house the images in the exhibition. Brock Baker, Bill Caldwell, Nick Lucey, Mike Rabalais and Scott Salisbury helped in the hanging of the images at Grayson Stadium. Jim Goodlett graciously donated the web space that houses this web site. Brian Slakie at the Ex Libris frame shop cut the mats and mounted the prints in record time.
Thanks go to Kevin Ledgerwood of Savannah-owned Roger Wood Foods for providing the hot dogs for the opening reception. Support small locally-owned businesses by using Roger Wood products for your next barbecue.
I also owe thanks to photographer Russ Bryant for giving me a friend price on much of the equipment I used for this project and for challenging me to make better pictures and keep shooting. Thanks as well to fellow photographers Rob Benchley, Michael Galvin, Landon Nordeman, Jon Holloway, C.C. Lockwood and Brian Skerry for taking time out to speak to me about my work.
I owe the greatest thanks to my parents for their abiding encouragement and support.