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Best Seat in the House

Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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June 7, 2008 9:22 PM

Jake Locker: You Can Go Home Again.

Posted by Rod Mar

Headed up to Bellingham tonight to photograph opening night of the Bellingham Bells season.

That's a heck of a drive to shoot what is basically a baseball college summer league.

But, it's newsworthy when the starting centerfield and number-two hitter is none other than Bellingham's own (okay, FERNDALE'S own) Jake Locker, who is better known for being the starting quarterback for the University of Washington Huskies.

With the Mariners out-of-town, local sports news is slim. So when I arrived in Bellingham, there were also four other newspaper photographers and three television crews on hand for the festivities.

Jake is a great kid and tolerates the media well enough. He endured some gentle teasing from teammates at the gathering of cameras, but it was obvious he just wanted to fit in and play baseball.

A female friend of mine saw the following image and noted, "Jake Locker is SCRUMPTIOUS (!) in this photo!"


(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200mm/f2.8 lens @ 200mm, ISO 400, 1/1000 sec., f10)

Bellingham manager Brandon Newell is congratulated by Locker during pregame festivities after Newell proposed to his girlfriend in front of the crowd:

(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200mm/f2.8 lens @ 98mm, ISO 400, 1/320 sec., f5.0)

Even when he's trying to be "one of the guys" in a baseball uniform, it's easy to see that Locker's physical presence identifies him as a man among boys:

(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 16-35mm/f2.8 lens @ 31 mm, ISO 200, 1/2000 sec., f2.8)

Locker fouled off numerous pitches in his first at-bat before earning a walk. "He's up there just HACKING", laughed some of his teammates, who were also impressed that he was making contact on every pitch to stay alive. Locker flashed a broad smile upon reaching first on the walk:

(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF400mm/f2.8 lens + EF 1.4x extenter = 560mm, ISO 250, 1/2000 sec., f4.0)

Sports wanted an action photo of him playing, but I also wanted to "place" Locker in this sub-minor league environment so I used a wide-angle lens near the on-deck circle to shoot something a little different:

(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 16-35mm/f2.8 lens @ 17 mm, ISO 400, 1/400 sec., f5.0)

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