Archive for James Shank

PV Baseball Team Goes 11-2

Posted in Adam Raseley, Baseball, Dan Hrbek, Dylan Pasnak, East Stroudsburg South, High School, Howie Stevens, James Shank, Jordan Caffrey, Pleasant Valley, Sports Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by bobshank

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Pleasant Valley’s baseball team was propelled by James Shank as he went 2-3 at the plate and recorded 2 RBIs. Howie Stevens and Jordan Caffrey contributed well-placed hits in the line-up to score 6 runs in six innings.

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Dylan Pasnak, pitched a masterful 1-hitter to secure a solid defensive game and record the shut-out.

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In the above photo, #3 Adam Raseley is running to first base. PV’s record is now 11-2 for the season!

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Here, shortstop, Dan Hrbek, turns a self-assisted double-play as #13 Zack Werner slides into the second base for East Stroudsburg South.

Baseball Season is Coming…. I Think!

Posted in Baseball, James Shank, Love of the Game, Pleasant Valley High School, Sports Photography with tags , , , , on February 20, 2013 by bobshank

Today we got three inches of snow on the mountain! I am beginning to wonder if that groundhog was just doing some wishful thinking! And still, even while shoveling the white stuff, my thoughts are turning more and more to the upcoming baseball season!

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I captured this moment on the day I realized my son was right–he was meant to be a catcher. I was not in favor of this position change because catchers get beat up. They have to block bad pitches, throw hard to the bases to stop basestealers, and  block the plate from incoming hard and vicious slides! Ouch! And yet, on the positive side, the catcher is literally involved in every pitch of the game. He calls for each pitch, learns to know a batter’s tendencies, and calls the plays as they unfold. He commands the game in a way like no other. James is indeed a catcher. He’s been a student of the game since he was little.

I remember the very first time I went out and bought him a bat, ball, and tee. It was one of those big, over-sized plastic sets that serve as the entry into the game of baseball for most little guys. Well, James hit two or three balls off the tee and then said proudly, “Daddy, pitch to me!” Now mind you, he was only three years old! I tried my best to use reason and convince him that a three-year-old needs to hit off the tee for more than two or three times before he could ever hope to hit a pitched ball thrown at him. I told him that even the great Cal Ripken, Jr., who was our mutual hero, hit off a tee at least a hundred times a day even as a big leaguer!

All of my fatherly wisdom and coaching rationale was not enough. So I succumbed and pitched the big plastic ball his way as this three-year-old stood proudly in the batter’s box. I think I threw over a hundred pitches to him that day and he hit maybe five of them. Each time he connected his bat with that ball, he would run around, touching every base, and declare he hit a homerun! I would try to tag him as he slid into homeplate, but he was always safe. And a love of the game was born for both father and son!

James is now seventeen years old and started eight games as a sophomore on his high school team last year. I still try to take my turns pitching to him, but now instead of hitting five out of a hundred, he connects on each and every one I throw anywhere near the strike zone. Then, I duck, hide behind my glove, and scream for my mommy as the baseball comes straight back at me!

James will be starting behind the plate this year as a Junior and he is looking forward to a good season. He’s been working hard in the off-season and can’t wait for the weather to break so he can get out on the diamond!

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I realized when James was 12 years old that I could no longer be his coach. He was developing a mind of his own, it was the proper time for  him to be coached by someone other than his dad, and he knew more about the game than I did! Admittedly, it was very hard for me to step down from coaching baseball, so I coached middle school football for three years, which I thoroughly enjoyed! But eventually, I had to give that up, too, to be available to get James where he needed to be as he continued developing his baseball quest. I do miss coaching but decided to take up a new spot–behind my camera. Now I’ve been photographing the Pleasant Valley High School Baseball Team for four years and I enjoy the challenge and opportunity to capture the action on the field.

Yep, it’s still February, and there is a lot of snow on the ground, but James and I are thinking BASEBALL! Aren’t you?

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1st Day at Kings Bay, Georgia

Posted in Georgia, James Shank, Submarine with tags , , , , on June 15, 2012 by bobshank

Our first day at the Naval Submarine Base on Kings Bay, Georgia was fun. We only had a chance to see a few sights, but we are already having a blast!

We began by devouring a scrumptious seafood dinner at Lang’s Marina Restaurant in Saint Mary’s. James opted for the Captain’s Platter and I had the Seafood combo, consisting of Flounder and Scrimp. It was delicious!

James is very much looking forward to his submarine training, which commences tomorrow at 17:00.

Feeding Elk

Posted in Cow, Feeding, James Shank, Patience, Pennsylvania Elk, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , on February 24, 2012 by bobshank

What do the Pennsylvania elk feed on in the winter? This year the snowfall was minimal, so grasses are plentiful and easy to get for the elk. Here a cow has a long stem of grass in her mouth. It reminds me of those really long fries we sometimes get at McDonald’s or a long piece of spaghetti!

The cow was looking intently at the camera but she never stopped eating this long stem of grass.

Here in this photograph you can see she is definitely working that stem of grass into her mouth. I didn’t hear any slurping sounds but it was funny to watch!

Most feeding elk photos show an elk with its head down eating grass. This is certainly not the best pose for a photograph. By spending time with our subject we can capture truly amazing photographs of the behavior of these incredible and beautiful creatures. On this particular cold morning, my son, James, and I spent well over an hour photographing this small herd of elk. We were frozen by the end of this shoot–so much so that our hands were tingling and numb when we got back into the truck. Do you know that painful sensation when your extremities finally start warming up again? Ouch! That hurts! But you know,  it is all worthwhile when you capture photographs like these! I cannot wait to do it again!

Umm, umm, good!