Today is Monday the 2nd of September and yesterday I concluded my final day of working for the Southern Illinois Miners for the 2019 baseball season.
I only worked with them for less than a month, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the team. I had to opportunity to work in a sport that I love (baseball), as well as get paid to do things that were very enjoyable for me.
When I started with the Miners I was originally supposed to do the in-game music. That essentially just means I choose the songs and sound clips that are played from gates open until the game has concluded. I am pretty good at choosing effective music and organ tones for certain situations that occur throughout a game such as a long foul ball or a manager arguing with an umpire. My previous experience with the Normal Cornbelters is the source of the majority of my confidence in this field.
I worked for the Normal Cornbelters baseball team for five straight Summers before I moved to Carbondale and started with Southern Illinois. While I was with the Belters, I started as a Bat Boy and slowly worked my way up to doing graphics, music, and writing the game day script. Through those five years I gained a lot of valuable experience that ultimately led to my opportunity with the Miners.
Working with the Southern Illinois Miners gave me the opportunity to be a camera operator for the first time in a professional setting. My only prior camera experience before this job was my own short films and the work I did for the basketball team at my previous school. The team streams every home game on YouTube, and they have a four camera setup with a center field, high home, 1st base, and 3rd base camera.
Three of these cameras require an operator which provided an opportunity for me when some of the student employees had to go back to their respective schools to begin the fall semester.
I was given the opportunity to operate each of these three cameras. The “high home” camera was where I was stationed for the last five games of the 2019 season. The “high home” camera was very enjoyable for me, because my job was to follow the ball and shoot the fielders. While operating this camera I took many great action shots of fielders making diving plays and great throws.
Getting shots like those were incredibly satisfying for me and it made me enjoy my job even more. So much, to the point that I could see myself doing camera work after college. Before this job I had always knew that I enjoyed using a camera, but being able to combine my favorite sport AND something I enjoy was an opportunity that I am incredibly thankful for.