Pitcher Philip Humber for Sports Illustrated

January 24th, 2013  |  Published in Baseball, Noteworthy, Portraits

Took a little road trip to east Texas* to photograph Philip Humber, who threw a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners for the Chicago White Sox last season, for Sports Illustrated. We met at the gym where he does his daily workouts with a trainer (any of you out there who think that starting pitchers live a life of luxury and pampering, think again…), and then we headed back to his house for some portraits with memorabilia from the game–including, much to my surprise, the actual pitching rubber from the mound at Safeco field, which the Seattle grounds crew was kind enough to dig up for him.** As usual, a slideshow is immediately below, with the individual images following beneath that.

* Okay fine, nothing is “little” when it comes to road trips in Texas. Austin to Tyler is just shy of 250 miles each way–without a Starbucks in sight. On a side note, I’ve often wondered why Texans tend to be non-specific about their travels when it comes to the more far-flung reaches of their state. One does not head to, say, Tyler or Nacogdoches, one heads to “East Texas,” just as one does not head to Fort Stockton or Midland, one heads to “West Texas”–which is not to be confused with West, comma, Texas, which is off I-35 just south of Hillsboro on the way to Fort Worth. Anyway my theory on this is that such ambiguity is used to avoid the frown of sympathy you would inevitably get from your fellow big-city-dwelling interlocutor should you inform him or her that you’re headed to Tyler, or Nacogdoches, or Fort Stockton, or Midland.
** This is no small feat, as you may notice from one of the portraits below. The “rubber’ is just that–a solid block of it about a foot wide by a foot deep, and sunk all the way down into the pitcher’s mound. No, I had no idea, either.

Anyway, on to the individual pictures.

TYLER, TX - DECEMBER 11: Philip Humber, Houston Astros pitcher, photographed on December 11, 2012 in Tyler, Texas. Photograph © 2012 Darren Carroll (Darren Carroll)

TYLER, TX - DECEMBER 11: Philip Humber, Houston Astros pitcher, photographed on December 11, 2012 in Tyler, Texas. Photograph © 2012 Darren Carroll (Darren Carroll)

TYLER, TX - DECEMBER 11: Philip Humber, Houston Astros pitcher, photographed on December 11, 2012 in Tyler, Texas. Photograph © 2012 Darren Carroll (Darren Carroll)

TYLER, TX - DECEMBER 11: Philip Humber, Houston Astros pitcher, photographed on December 11, 2012 in Tyler, Texas. Photograph © 2012 Darren Carroll (Darren Carroll)

TYLER, TX - DECEMBER 11: Philip Humber, Houston Astros pitcher, photographed on December 11, 2012 in Tyler, Texas. Photograph © 2012 Darren Carroll (Darren Carroll)

TYLER, TX - DECEMBER 11: Philip Humber, Houston Astros pitcher, photographed on December 11, 2012 in Tyler, Texas. Photograph © 2012 Darren Carroll (Darren Carroll)

Technically curious? Everything: Canon 1DX. Gym shots: 50mm 1.4. Portraits: Canon 85mm 1.2. Indoor portraits: Profoto Acute 2400s; Outdoor portrait: Profoto 7B, Quantum Q-Flash. Feel free to e-mail if you want any more specifics.

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