Ever since it was announced that Miami was going to be the place to be for the World Baseball Classic I made it my mission to shoot a game or 10. It didn’t quite end up the way I wanted, but I was able to walk away with my own unique experiences from the World Baseball Classic. I mean I did get to spend a better part of the day hanging out with Daddy Yankee so there is that!
Team Israel Exhibition
Before the first rounds of the Classic started, teams held practices and exhibition games with different MLB teams. I was assigned to help out with the exhibition game between Team Israel and the Miami Marlins. Unfortunately for Team Israel a lot of their players hadn’t made it yet and they had to use some of the Marlins minor league guys to help fill out the roster that game.
Game wise it wasn’t anything terribly exciting. I spent a good portion of the game getting detailed shots as a lot of the equipment has the Israel flag all over it.
Sandy Alcantara and Team Dominican Republic
The Friday night prior to teams reporting to loadDepot Park, Sandy Alcantara, 2022 Cy Young Award Winner, held a little party for the Dominican team at the Four Season in Miami. He was launching a new tequila and invited all his teammates to join him.
The party was pretty tame. Players were just hanging out and quietly talking. That all changed when David Ortiz aka Big Papi showed up.
He was the party. The players were all laughing, smiling listening to David tell stories and basically command the party with his larger than life personality. His laugh, his voice; it was everything you heard Big Papi was.
I think the highlight for me at the World Baseball Classic was hanging out with Daddy Yankee for a better part of the day. He was named the ambassador of the games and was at the press conference to announce that as well as his new song for the Classic.
We were in the Green Room prior to the press conference hanging out when I heard a familiar voice echo through the hallway. It was Big Papi. That guy is the life of every party. He came in and was face timing with his kid showing him Daddy Yankee and they were talking as if they were life long friends.
In the press conference is when I truly grasped at how big the World Baseball Classic was. Media from all over the world were there. It was crazy, but also exciting. The press conference wasn’t anything out of this world special.
Afterwards Daddy Yankee and Big Papi headed to the field to watch Team Puerto Rico practice. It was a mission trying to get those guys through the tunnels. Everyone was trying to stop them for photos or interviews. And once Team Puerto Rico saw Daddy Yankee, they all came up and greeted him.
It was truly a media circus with everyone trying to get photos of them and the players trying to get batting practice in. Luckily for me I was part of the group that was supposed to be with them so we had I guess you could say the better access.
After the meet and greet we had to take Daddy Yankee to get some portraits taken as well as some intro video. Francisco Lindor, Kike Hernandez and Javy Baez were there as well so it was great to see them interact with each other.
After the day was done Daddy Yankee came up to me shook my hand and said thanks for all the help that day. I won’t lie I was taken back. You expect celebs to be all about them and what not and here is this guy, all humble; thanking me. I was already a fan, but he made me a fan for life.
World Baseball Classic Concerts
As I mentioned I didn’t get the chance to cover any of the games. I did cover some of the concerts that were held after the games. I’ll never turn down a chance to get some more concert photography practiced in.
Two of the bigger names I shot were DJ Alex Sensation and Tono Rosario. Alex Sensation was just spinning a lot of latin music and plenty of Bad Bunny. The concert was nice and full.
Now when I say Tono Rosario can perform let me tell you. I was in front of the stage and my goal was to grabbed some shots and head to the side where I can get more concert photos similar to the way I shot the Alex Sensation concert. That never happened.
The crowds were from wall to wall, front and back packed with people. I had no place to go, so I stayed there and shot the entire concert. He performed for an hour, hit after hit. The energy from him and the crowd was electric.
I’ve seen a lot of the best Latin performers before and Tono Rosario is up there with them.