As you know, I get a number of books sent to me for review. Instant Baseball, however, is the first one that perhaps my family enjoyed even more than I did.
Brad Mangin, a professional baseball photographer based out of the Bay Area, got hooked on shooting with his iPhone 4S and using the Instagram app. He decided it’d be fun to shoot Instagrams all season long, catching the teams as they came through the area to play the Giants and the A’s.
These aren’t always your normal shots. Sure, you have the beautiful pictures of the vibrant green grass on a sunny day or shots of the stadium and its surroundings. There are also pictures of more unique things, such as bats on a bat rack or Albert Pujols being shot with background for a baseball card.
You’ll see Tanner Scheppers with a pink backpack during the National Anthem. A close up of the bubble gum available to the big leaguers in the clubhouse. There’s even a ground level shot of Ken Rosenthal conducting an interview, which just goes to accentuate Rosenthal’s height–or lack thereof.
Being that the Cards didn’t play the Giants too much until the playoffs–yes, this covers the 2012 season–there aren’t just a ton of Redbirds in the book. Yadier Molina makes an appearance, glove on his head. There’s a nighttime shot of Skip Schumaker at bat with the large Coke bottle in the distance.
Being that the Giants came back and beat the Cardinals in the NLCS last year, looking through those pictures and the World Series are a little tough to deal with, but there are still some outstanding shots of the parade and the aftermath.
Being that the book is entirely pictures, with just a forward and an introduction (and credits on the photos) to read and the fact that it is a square book that looks like an Instagram photo, it drew the attention of my wife and my kids. They really enjoyed flipping through it, seeing the different pictures and players. My wife was a little disappointed that it wasn’t pure pictures–the pictures were toned a bit with some other apps–but on the whole that really doesn’t detract from the experience.
Usually a coffee table book is one that is overly large, but this one has the same type of content at about a quarter of the size. If you are one that loves the visual element of baseball, this is a great one to have in your collection!