Daily sports photo #43

April 20 – “Hmmmmm, that guy looks familiar.”

Today I’d like to introduce you to another incredible guy that I met while shooting the Daredevils – Brent West. This is one of my favorite photos of Brent as it captured a little of his constant grin and twinkle in his eyes (yes, his eyes seemed to twinkle as he smiled or laughed).

Brent seemed to be very popular with his teammates and perhaps they can comment below on why, but to me Brent just loved the game of baseball and loved to be at the park around baseball. Of all the players that I’ve seen in some 9 years of shooting Daredevils baseball Brent was Mr. Utility. To play he’d do anything. I have photos of him playing 3rd base, catcher, and his usual position first base. He may have played other positions as well. Trust me, all the specifics some times run together.

I was most impressed when he played catcher for a game. First, I never knew that he had caught before. It was an awfully hot day at the park. I mean hotter than hot. For some reason the regular catchers were unavailable. But the team needed a catcher. So who donned ALL that gear to catch? Mr. Utility of course. Did I mention that it was hot? As usual, Brent played his position well. Impressed in deed.

I liked being around Brent because simply he looked like he was always happy and having fun no matter the circumstances of the score. Don’t get me wrong, he was a fierce competitor and wanted to win, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. Remember, it baseball is a game. There’s a saying – “When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun’.” I think Brent could be (is) a best friend to a lot of guys. I bet he’s always there for you and he’s got your back. I saw some evidence of this one evening at a game. The Daredevils were playing the Suns. An “altercation” broke out and both and players from both teams ran out onto the field. Guess who was at the epicenter of the action. I won’t say but he had a beard with a twinkle in his eyes.

Brent seemed to always have a beard. Most of the hundred or so photos that I have of him he has a beard. But there was one game, late in a Daredevils season when I saw him before the game and he didn’t have a beard. First, I was surprise that he was even there as he hadn’t been with the team for some games. In fact, I wasn’t even sure that he was on the roster. When I talked to him he said something yeah, I shaved it so hopefully they wouldn’t recognize me and I could play. That’s the story in my mind as I remember it. It’s a good story – Mr. Utility just wanting to play the game he loves.

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To view more of my photos please visit www.richardlmillerphotography.com.

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