Starting as a young photographer, learning the trade of sports and athletics photography was all about “faces, faces, faces, and more faces,” according to Rich Moll of Rich Moll Photography. “The face tells the story, whether it’s pain, agony or joy,” says Moll, who has been shooting sports photography in Maple Grove for five years.
“The more you understand the game, the better able you are to capture a picture that tells the story,” says Moll, who strives to record the action in a way that spectators and fans cannot witness from the stands. “The great thing about shooting baseball is that the players aren't wearing helmets that obscure the face,” explains Moll. “I love the intensity and focus of this second baseman…the tongue hanging out, eyes wide open and the ball just inches from glove, the runner's feet inches from the bag. I love to be able to freeze a ‘bang-bang’ play in baseball...but here I like it when the person looking at the picture has to ask, ‘Was he safe or out?’ It makes them want to know more and not just say, ‘Nice picture.’”
In addition to photographing local high school athletic events in the Maple Grove area and western suburbs, Rich also shoots events around the Twin Cities, including football games at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.
So, was he out? It was the bottom of the third inning with Champlin Park leading Maple Grove 3–1 with one out and a Champlin Park runner on first. The pitch was in the dirt and the throw to second base, to tag the runner trying to steal, was just late—the runner was safe at second base. However, the runner was thrown out when he attempted to reach third base.
This shot was captured on June 2, 2014 at the St. Paul Saints ballpark. Maple Grove was playing Champlin Park in the high school baseball playoffs to see who would advance to the state tournament.