It was an honor to be part of tonight's telecast.
This was one of MLB's civil rights games for the 2010 season.
During the pre-game ceremonies we had shots of Frank Robinson, Henry Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Willie Mays. Ernie Banks visited our booth for an inning and his visit was most enjoyable.
The game was well played and well pitched.
The two most exciting plays for a TV baseball director to cut are a walk-off home run or the game ending with a play at the plate.
The bottom of the ninth began with the Cardinals down 4-2.
Later, with the score 4-3 and a runner on first base with two outs, the Cardinals batter hit a smash down the 3rd baseline for a sure base hit.
The only question was whether or not the runner from first base would score to tie the game at 4-4.
On a bang-bang play at the plate the runner was called out and the Reds won the game.
We were in the back end of a dual feed and I only had three cameras at my disposal. I know the home show, with it's full complement of equipment, would have the game-ending play well covered so this allowed me to take some chances with my cameras. If these "chances" don't pan out, I know we can rely on the camera angles from the home show.
Before the at-bat, I told camera 1 which is located in the third base dugout - the Cardinals dugout - that "if it looks like the batter hits a home run, shoot the dugout".
I told camera 3 (located at the mid-first base position) to pull back as wide as possible and tilt down and show the Cincinnati fans going crazy. I told the camera operator to "stay there, don't move" and I will cut you in immediately if the Reds win.
When the Cardinals batter stroked the ball to left field, I told camera 1 to "shoot the dugout".
Immediately after the runner was called out, I cut in camera 3 with the crowd going nuts and then I went to camera 1 with the dejected Cardinals leaving the dugout. I watched this shot live when the ball was in play and knew the shot would be used in a replay sequence during the post-game show.
During the post-game hit, we replayed four angles of the final play of the game.
The first angle was from the home shows' mid-third base camera. (Our mid-first base camera was isoing the crowd which I cut in live.) The second angle was from the home shows' left field corner camera. The third angle was from our tight centerfield camera, and the fourth and final look was the iso of the Cardinals' dugout from our camera 1.
This was a very nice sequence put together by our producer and the tape room.
In my book Cutting The Game, Inside Television Baseball From the Director's Chair (http://www.cuttingthegame.com/) I write a chapter called Respect = Success. This chapter explains how respect for the game, the players, the fans, and the TV crew leads to a successful telecast.
Tonight's "Civil Rights Game" was all about respect.
Our crew was privileged to be a part of this telecast which began by showing a deep respect for the African American players who played such a huge part of making baseball the greatest game in the world.
It was an honor for all of us to a part of this game/telecast.
The baseball Gods rewarded us for this respect with a successful and memorable show.