April 20 – Introducing Mr. Ricky Hops.
OK, here’s another great young man that I’ve met shooting the OBX Daredevils and consider both him and his family as good friends. This is Rick Hopkins, or as mama calls him Ricky. His teammates in college called him Ricky Hops. Rick is the first college ball player that I really got to know.
Simply, Rick was a quintessential ball player. He respected the game and played it as I imagine the greats of years gone by played it – with a passion for the game and a fierce determination to win. To me, Rick Hopkins always gave it his all.
Being a catcher I naturally got a LOT of photos of Ricky. I posted this online as I do now and one year I made my first photo book. As I recall, that’s how I got to know his mom, Jen as she was one of the first to get my book. We soon met in person when she and Rick’s stepdad Jeff George would come to the Outer Banks from New Jersey to see him play. What can I say, they are great people, although Jen tries to take my job as she’s the main photographer and fan of Ricky when he was playing for Dickinson College.
One great highlight for me was when my wife JoAnn and I went to Florida to see, and me shoot, three days of Dickinson College baseball during their annual pilgrimage to Florida for spring break. We were immediately adopted into the large family of Dickinson parents that were there and the players almost immediately accepted me as “their” photographer (or maybe it was mascot, I don’t really know). Those were some of the best days in baseball for me, I still think of them often.
As far as I can tell, Rick Hopkins is excelling in life as he did in baseball. But that’s no surprise to me. He now works in NY City and we were planning for me to visit him sometime this month. Well, as you know, that’s on hold for awhile. Until then, I will look through all the photos of Ricky Hops and smile.
To view more of my photos please visit www.richardlmillerphotography.com.