August 15, 2012 – As the case has been in previous seasons, the day that we chose for the New York Yankees annual team photo was filled with rain.
Today’s forecast called for a 20 percent chance of precipitation at 4 o’clock — which is when the team photo was scheduled for. As I made my way down to the field about an hour before that, I was confident that the photo would happen, but with each passing minute, the sky got darker. Finally, at 3:52 pm, a light rain began to fall and a dull thunder alarmed everyone on the field.
Of course, those ominous weather conditions took place as many of the players emerged from the clubhouse. Fortunately, the rain came to a halt, and while the thunder continued to sound, there was no sign of lightning.
The publications and media relations staff moved quickly to put the players and coaches on risers, which were set up behind home plate. Within minutes, Yankees team photographer Lou Rocco took the photo, and as we were disassembling the equipment and lights used for the shot, a heavy rain doused the field.
Hopefully, the Yankees win enough games down the stretch and in October to make this image a valuable keepsake. In the meantime, it will appear in the October 2012 Issue of Yankees Magazine in the form of a pullout poster.
–Alfred Santasiere III
August 5, 2012 — On August 13, the Yankees will begin their first full homestand of the month, and the August Issue of Yankees Magazine will hit the shelves that same day.
For the second month in a row, we made a last-minute change to the cover subject, this time putting Ichiro front and center.
In the days after the Yankees made the blockbuster trade with the Seattle Mariners for one of the best pure hitters the game has ever seen — Ichiro has led the league in hits seven times in his 11 full seasons in the United States, and he set the single-season mark for hits in 2004 with 262 — we went to work on the classic cover below.
Contributing writer Mark Feinsand, who covers the team for the New York Daily News, spoke to Ichiro and several other Yankees on the day of the trade. With a two-day turnaround, we printed a feature that describes the way the trade came to fruition and sheds light on Ichiro’s historical accomplishments with Seattle.
This issue also includes my story on David Wells, which I wrote about in previous blog entries. I interviewed Boomer for the story during spring training at the restaurant he once frequented with George Steinbrenner. At one of those meetings, Wells and the Yankees late owner hammered out an agreement that brought the pitcher back to New York. My feature includes Wells’ candid comments about that encounter, and it also details his present-day life, in which he is the pitching coach at his alma mater, Point Loma High School.
Yankees team photographer James Petrozzello and I spent a few days in San Diego with Wells, and between the photos and the story, we didn’t leave any stone unturned.
A few weeks after the trip to San Diego, I interviewed former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for a “Five Minutes with…” feature in the August Issue (for more on that interview, see previous blog entry). I am proud of the way the piece on Kissinger turned out, because it reveals his love for baseball as well as his views on much more important issues.
Associate editor Craig Tapper and Petrozzello also went on a long-distance trip to cover the Midnight Sun Baseball Classic in Alaska. In Tapper’s story, he details what is one of the great unknown traditions in the game, and Petrozzello’s photographs are exceptional.
Lastly, a year after publishing the first Women’s Issue of Yankees Magazine, we are celebrating the significant contributions of women in baseball as a way of honoring the 40th anniversary of Title IX in a special feature. For the story, Women’s sports historian Ernestine Miller provides a timeline of key events highlighting women’s longstanding passion for the game and their efforts to break the gender barrier.
Again, this issue will be on sale at Yankee Stadium on Monday August 13. You can subscribe to Yankees Magazine — print or online versions — through (800) GO-YANKS or www.yankees.com/publications.
–Alfred Santasiere III
August 5, 2012 – Before today’s game against the Seattle Mariners, the Yankees held Photo Day for full-season ticket licensees. For about an hour this morning, Yankees players and coaches walked the entire distance of the warning track, shaking hands and posing for photos with the group of loyal fans.
My favorite moment of the day came when Derek Jeter knelt down to take a photo with a young girl, who was holding a sign that read: “Today is my 5th Birthday.”
For an article in the September Issue of Yankees Magazine, CC Sabathia, who made the journey from left field to the right-field foul line with Jeter, discussed what the experience was like.
“It was a great time for our fans,” Sabathia said. “It was cool because this kind of thing doesn’t really happen that often. It was fun for all of our guys to come out and show our appreciation.”
–Alfred Santasiere III
August 5, 2012 – On July 30, Yankees team photographer James Petrozzello took two versions of the photo below for two upcoming Yankees Magazine covers. The image below will grace the cover of the first-ever issue of Yankees Magazine en Español, and a similar image will be placed on the front page of the September Issue of Yankees Magazine.
Our goal for these covers was to capture photos of Robinson Cano in front of the most beautiful view of the New York skyline that we could find.
A week before the shoot, Petrozzello and I went on a photo-scouting trip, in which we visited five different New Jersey locations along the Hudson River. Our first stop on the journey was at a marina in the town of Edgewater, and our final stop was at a park in Weehawken. We settled on a pathway in the Weehawken park, because it provided us with close-up view of mid-town Manhattan.
When we returned to the park a week later for the Cano photo shoot, the dark cloud cover made for an even more spectacular photo of one of baseball’s greatest players, and Petrozzello captured the images we had hoped to get.
After the photo shoot, I spoke to Cano for the story — which will be published in the September Issue of Yankees Magazine and in Yankees Magazine en Español. In the interview, Cano spoke about several topics including his reaction to the accolades that go along with his performance thus far.
“Sometimes it’s good to hear that you’re one of the best,” Cano said. “Those comments make me work even harder, because I want to stay at this level. I hope that people always consider me an elite player, but most importantly, I’m going to continue to do everything I can to help my team get back to the World Series and win it.”
–Alfred Santasiere III