Legion baseball wraps up

ALWS: Game 8 winning run
Brooklawn, NJ runner Pat Kane slides in safe at home past Bellevue, WA catcher James Sinatro to score the winning run in the 10th inning of game eight at the American Legion World Series in Shelby on Sunday August 19, 2012.

Here's a few of my best photos from the last few weeks of American Legion baseball playoffs.

I don't consider shooting baseball to be one of my strengths as a photographer, but looking over all the high school, Gastonia Grizzlies and American Legion baseball I shot this summer is boosting my confidence a bit. I think for the first time in my four-year career I can say without hesitation that I'm proud of the work I did.

I can't take all the credit, of course. No matter how good you are as a sports photographer, you're always at the mercy of what's actually happening on the field. With baseball that is often extreme boredom and monotony punctuated by moments of dramatic and decisive action, such as the play-at-the-plate above.

All things considered, this year I felt like there was simply more action, and I can't complain about that.

Over-the-fence catch
Hickory Post 29 left fielder Tanner Dillard reaches over the fence to rob a Gaston Braves batter of a home run during game four of the American Legion playoffs series at South Point High in Belmont on Thursday July 19, 2012.
Hats off to double plays
Cherryville Post 100 second baseman Brett Huff knocks off Gastonia Post 23 runner Trevor Bridges' helmet after forcing him out at second and winding up to throw to first for the double play during the American Legion playoffs game at Sims Legion Park on Wednesday July 4, 2012.