Thanks for stopping by.
I (Mary) took quite a bit of time off OA due to burnout and other mental health issues.
I’ve followed baseball gleefully for 30 years, but when I felt like I had to write about it and photograph it – I didn’t want to do it anymore. Burnout? Self-sabotage? Too many priorities? A need to keep a hobby just that?
I didn’t get paid, of course, in those early years of OA: posts from Safeco Field and pics between thesis edits at Missouri State after that. I never posted from Alaska in those 8 months after grad school – 800 MB of “business only” wifi every 24 hrs left checking scores impossible.
However – one day when the snow overwhelmed my cabin roof and fell onto my porch, blocking me from leaving my home – WELL.
“Is Mary ok?” a guest asked. “Can she get out of her cabin?”
“She’ll find her way out,” my boss said in his infinite compassion.
Yes – because the Sports Illustrated baseball preview issue was resting in a care package from my parents and the tiny post office was 1/4 mile away on skis and closing soon.
Oh, I found my way out.
But still, back home in the Ozarks I attended games and wrote about them. I didn’t get paid but I felt obligated. Or I wanted to. Or sometimes both. It’s fun being at a ballpark. It’s fun to work there.
Did anyone care? Did anyone read this? Then covid happened and there were no games. I conducted a few interviews, though. (That’s my favorite.)
Now I’m a freelance writer and photographer and I’ve had to stop giving away so many photos for free. I have to eat, after all, at least daily. By the way, you can find my portfolio here. And the reason I spent 8 months in the Arctic after grad school? Why – so you can find my northern light photography!
But baseball is still it for me, a meditative event where I can focus on the ball catching the glove; the ump sweeping the plate, and the cleats hitting the dirt.
Today I saw the Missouri State Bears play Bradley in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. The rain stopped for the week and the sun hovered above.
So many runs.
Bradley made a pitching change in the third – Troy Hickey entered down 6-0 to the sounds of “You Can’t Hurry Love.” What could be more soothing?
10-0, and Dakota Kotowski nursed a walk.
“Walk’s as good as a hit! Walk’s as good as a hit!”
Who said that? Who didn’t!
It was 10-0 when Grant Wood hit a grand slam:
Then Walker Jenkins homered to make it 16-0:
Then Nivens. 17-0.
Well. Wood drove in two more. Bradley scored a few, and I felt a bit sad for the players, standing in their dugouts. This isn’t how a kid figures to end his college career.
The Bears cleaned up after themselves:
And kept playing:
And it kinda seemed like they couldn’t believe it, either.
Mercifully, the game ended after 7.
But I would’ve liked to spend more time at the ballpark.by