One of the best parts of spring training is photo day. Various photographers, team and otherwise, make their way through camps in Florida and Arizona, capturing several player shots to will be used throughout the year.
The majority of these photos are pretty normal, and you know what they look like. Players pose in front of a plain backdrop or green screen. Hitters hold a bat, pitchers mimic throwing a baseball. But there are so many photos taken of so many bored players that sometimes they get weird, and it’s in the margins where we can find some truly unique gems.
Sometimes whole teams decide to get creative. The Giants, for instance, used chalkboards for players to get creative. Hunter Pence, for instance, proclaimed his love for Magic: The Gathering.
The Brewers went with a 1980s theme. So much denim.
Sometimes groups of players decide to have some fun, like when a few Pirates used Chris Archer as a prop:
The Reds, who thrilled us all by bringing back sleeveless uniforms last season, fully committed to the bit with Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen.
Sometimes players go off on their own, like Joey Votto doing whatever this is.
Others, like Greg Bird, look like they’ve been in line at DMV for a couple hours.
Edwin Diaz allowed 15 home runs with a 5.59 ERA in his first season with the Mets. This year, he’s hoping to avoid pyrotechnics on the mound but has a weird way of showing it.
There’s nothing extraordinary about Cubs coach Mike Napoli’s pose, but I just wanted to highlight his amazing beard.
I realize this is just a perspective issue, but from the looks of things in Orioles camp, Dilson Herrera borrowed Paul Bunyan’s bat.
The photo session at Cardinals camp must have gotten boring. Either that or the photographer while taking shots of Paul Goldschmidt also moonlights for Forearm Monthly.
A true connoisseur of photo day is Jared Hughes, now with the Astros on a minor league deal.
That icy stare is nothing new for the reliever. Just look at these previous photo day gems.
But for me, the winner of MLB photo days in 2020 is Keon Broxton, who has a bat with his face on it.
Well done, Keon.
With photo days now in the rearview mirror, we have actual spring training games to watch. Baseball is back, and that’s reason enough to celebrate.