When I shoot from a high school dugout I always try to have a player or two infront of me to protect me from foul balls. I always ask a few of the bench warmers if they will help save me from a foul ball and they are always eager to help. First base dugout is the worse. If there are no players to help I always stand behind the dugout wall and have the gear out in the open.
I have had to many close calls not to pay clase attention.
Could never happen to me. I am a left eye shooter so the camera is always in front of my left eye. :biggrin:
In all seriousness though, I have shot a lot of high school and college baseball and I can tell you that when you venture out from behind the fences (which you really have to do if you want the money shots), you had better stay awake and have real good reflexes. For what its worth, I wear a cup when shooting in foul territory behind first and third. Maybe I ought to consider safety goggles as well.
By the way, as scary as getting hit by a foul ball is, I have been hurt twice shooting sports. Both along the football sidelines. Once I was hit by players that carried the ball carrier and tackler over the line and into me (sprained ankle and broken 400/2.8) and once when I tripped over a ref while I was trying to avoid a similar collision with 2 players.
But hey, photographers have been hurt getting too close to moose or other large critters. Depends on just how bad you want the shot. I would be more comfortable shooting a sporting event that trying to get close to a grizzly or some other "animal".
Shame that the guy lost that eye though. Terrible story. Wasn't there a story just last year where a minor league coach got killed after being struck in the chest or something like that?
Anyone on the baseball field is in constant danger. Tonight at the Florida vs LSU baseball game, the girl next to me shooting for the local paper, was drilled in the shoulder... very close to the head/face. I saw it coming, but my first instinct is to not interfere with play on the field. All I could do is verbally warn her but she even said she had no time to react even when she heard my warning. One of the fans behind us said "I can't believe they don't make ya'll wear helmets at least, you are out there in the line of fire just as much as the rest".
Just last week, I was hit in the face by an errant pick off throw from the pitcher. Not a foul ball, but it wasn't the softest throw either. Now that its baseball season, definitely take care fellow photographers!
That has to hurt. I used to shoot from behind the first base coach for baseball, and I had more than my share of close calls, even tho I shot with both eyes open and one eye on the ball, those foul balls move fast. If there was a runner on first, I had the camera focused on second base for the steal, but still kept my eyes on the batter till the guy on first started to run. One must stay on their toes and pay attention to what is going on at all times if you are on the field, but accidents are going to happen all the time, and they can happen to players, managers, photographers, TV camera crew and fans. The guy probably had his attention focused on something else, and never saw the ball coming. At least he does plan on returning to the game when he can.
I'm ebarrassed to say I was hit, wasn't paying attention. My son's high school team was playing in a minor league park, for playoffs. I was shooting from in the dugout, which was a little below ground level, a ball got past the first baseman during warmups and hit me on the side of my head. Talk about hurt!! I honestly didn't realize what happened for a few seconds. I was alot more careful after that.