Photo Of The Day: John Rocker

 

JOHN ROCKER QUOTES:

On ever playing for a New York team: “I would retire first. It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you’re riding through Beirut, next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing.”

On New York City itself: “The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. I’m not a very big fan of foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?”

Quotes were taken from this Sports Illustrated post.

I shot this photo the night our beloved Mets clinched the 2000 wild card spot against the Braves. It was taken before the game during the Braves BP. Rocker was taunting the fans, pretending to throw balls up and flashing everyone the middle finger. Real class act.

If you frequent this website you may have seen my post back in October with two other photos from this roll of film. Yes, film… old school photography where you actually needed to know how to work your camera. No disrespect to digital, I own one too, but nothing compares to film photography. You never knew if you got the shot and correct settings until developing your film.

I was taking a photo journalism class at Nassau Community College at the time and picked this game to go towards a project I was working on. As a broke college student delivering pizzas, I loved that Shea Stadium allowed fans to sit free in the Pepsi picnic area on Wednesdays. You’d have to get there early to make sure you got in, but all it cost was trading in an empty can of soda. Luckily this game landed on a Wed night, and I saw it for $0.

I can’t remember exactly what that fan was saying to Rocker but I can only assume it was something very aggressive with multiple 4 letter expletives. This game was after the quotes became public and the Mets fans were PISSED. I’d never throw things on the field, but I did witness plenty of others partake in that. The bullpen even had a tarp over it so nobody would rifle anything in there. Rocker had no class. He was a different breed of animal and the Shea faithful really let him have it. Throwing a battery or soda at the guy wasn’t the right thing to do but I’m sure it made some fans happy.

Glad I brought my camera to the game that night. My only regret is that I didn’t do it more often.

Photos: 2000 NL WILD CARD

I shot these photos 11 years ago from the Pepsi Picnic area. If you remember, fans could get in for FREE with a Pepsi can every Wednesday home game. I’m not sure how many were allowed in, but I assume it was at least around 300 per game. At the time I was taking photography classes at Nassau Community College and I’d bring my camera to almost every game. The Mets clinched the 2000 NL Wild Card spot that night and we got to see it for the cost of a Pepsi.

This was before digital photography took over and the excitement was still there to see if you caught the shot you had hoped. Exposure, shutter speed.. it’s not brain surgery, but harder than holding down the button half way and letting the camera do the rest. You obviously couldn’t check the screen to see if you captured the shot.

I remember getting to school extra early the next day to see what I had. The darkroom was a really fun experience for me. I was never a great student in HS as I really was only interested in learning things I would apply to my life. College was more my speed as you can pick your major and classes. Calculus? No thanks.. bring me to art history, photography 101, film editing and bowling please. Yes, bowling was my gym class.

These are my two favorite shots from that night. I miss Shea.