leo throwing bat
Leo Gets His Picture Taken
In 1969 I was assigned to get a candid portrait of the manager of the Chicago Cubs, the famous and cantankerous Leo Durocher. During the pre-game warmups I began shooting Leo from 20 or 30 feet away framing just his head and shoulders with a very long telephoto lens. (see Leo in Editorial Gallery)

This seemd to bother him because every few minutes he would turn his back to me as he chatted with his friend. I would circle around and begin again.This went on for maybe five minutes before he asked me to stop--not in so many words but by throwing a baseball bat.

It was a very cool move. Facing straight ahead and not looking he flipped the bat, underhanded, my way,  By some miracle I caught the bat before it beaned me on the noggin, which I'm sure was his intention, or maybe just his way of letting a neophyte photographer know the rules of conduct on a major leage baseball field.

I didn't realize until later when LIFE returned the outtakes that I had managed to snap a photo with my second camera of the bat in the air. It never made it into the magazine that week but was later published in the book "Life in Sports".
powered by CC-Squared