Hello again.

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.

Drake Baldwin
Mason Hull and Cam Cratic

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?

Spencer Nivens

10-0, and Dakota Kotowski nursed a walk.

Dakota Kotowski

“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:

Grant Wood

Then Walker Jenkins homered to make it 16-0:

Walker Jenkins

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:

Caden Wilson

And cheering:

Hull, et al.

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.

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