Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: Jon SooHoo

Talking shop with Dodger photogapher Jon SooHoo

Fernando Valenzuela, pitching against USC in an exhibition game before the 1981 season. (Jon SooHoo)

Fernando Valenzuela, pitching against USC in an exhibition game before the 1981 season. (Jon SooHoo)

Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo, who last year completed his 30th season chronicling the team, will be part of a Samy’s Photo School seminar with Angels photographer Matt Brown on February 13 at the Petersen Automotive Museum. (For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.)

SooHoo looked back at his career, which began in some ways with the above photo of Fernando Valenzuela, in this interview.

— Jon Weisman

Confidence is scary, don’t you think?


Dodgers at Cubs, 5:05 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, 2B
Joc Pederson, CF
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Andre Ethier, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

Long before the Dodgers allowed a run in the 10th inning Tuesday to lose at Chicago came this instantly celebrated as well as befuddling moment of Cubs fan Keith Hartley reaching out to catch a foul ball while holding — and still feeding — his baby son Isaac.

I was reasonably confident that the Dodgers would get credit for the out, because Hartley had so clearly reached into the field of play, interfering with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. But the confidence that Hartley had in his ability to catch the ball — and, more to the point, not allow his son to be hurt — is the kind I’ll never experience. Man.

[mlbvideo id=”191285683″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

Here’s what Hartley had to say, via Jon Greenberg of

“Baseball is not a new thing to me,” he said. “I didn’t want it to hit the ledge and hit him, so I wanted to make first contact, I think.”

More importantly, what was going through wife Kari’s head?

“I was a little bit nervous, a little bit scared he was going to drop the baby,” she said. “Fortunately he held on tight to both the ball and Isaac, so we were OK.”

I also wondered about Hartley not getting ejected from the ballpark, but the good-time, no-harm vibe prevailed.

Meanwhile, Dodger team photographer Jon SooHoo was in the right city, camera well and position to catch the catch. He spoke to Mark Newman of Blogs Central about how it all happened. Give it a read …

* * *

Before Tuesday, the Cubs hadn’t shut out the Dodgers in an extra-inning game in Chicago for 99 years, nine months and seven days. The last extra-inning shutout by the Cubs against the Dodgers was September 16, 1915, when Hippo Vaughn outdueled Jeff Pfeffer at the West Side Grounds.

Spring Training photo stars, courtesy of Jon SooHoo

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

By Jon Weisman

As the warmup period for Spring Training comes to a close and the Dodgers embark upon 21 games in the next 19 days before leaving for Australia, I thought this would be a good time to thank official Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo — whose blog you should be checking out daily — for serving as our eyes into Camelback Ranch.

I’d also like to pay tribute to just some of those Dodgers who have been among SooHoo’s best subjects in February, regularly cropping up in distinctive images. In alphabetical order:

  • Dee Gordon

Los Angeles Dodgers workout at Camelback Ranch-Glendale

  • Alex Guerrero

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

  • Sandy Koufax

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

  • Yasiel Puig

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

Here are the links to SooHoo’s photos since pitchers and catchers reported. Click over and let us know which are your favorite shots and subjects from Spring Training so far:

February 7
February 8
February 9
February 10
February 11
February 12
February 13
February 14
February 15
February 16
February 17
February 18
February 19
February 20
February 21
February 22
February 23
February 24
February 25

Today in Jon SooHoo: Double bubble

Sunshine and song: Winter Development Camp photos

Los Angeles Dodgers Winter Development Program

By Jon Weisman

Above and below are photos from the past two days of Winter Development Camp, from Juan Ocampo and Jon SooHoo (click the links with their names for the full, fun-filled galleries):

Los Angeles Dodgers Winter Development Program

Los Angeles Dodgers Winter Development at a Place Called Home

Los Angeles Dodgers Winter Development at a Place Called Home

Los Angeles Dodgers Winter Development

Los Angeles Dodgers Winter Development Program

Also, SooHoo has an action shot of former Dodger farmhand Melvin Ray scoring for Auburn at Monday’s BCS national championship football game.

Expanded playoffs could lower bar for Dodgers in 2012

Can the seventh-best team in the National League in 2011 become the fifth-best team in 2012?

  • Nothing’s official yet, but Bud Selig thinks the expansion of MLB’s playoffs to 10 teams could come this year, reports The Associated Press. “Under the new format, whenever it begins, the non-division winners in each league with the two best records will be the wild cards, meaning a third-place team could for the first time win the World Series.”
  • Today in Jon SooHoo: A contemplative Vin Scully inside the Green Monster at Fenway, 2004. (And from a couple days ago, here’s Scully interviewing Tommy Lasorda at Busch Stadium in the 1980s.)
  • Hiroki Kuroda talked to Dylan Hernandez of the Times at some length about leaving the Dodgers for the Yankees.
  • Paul DePodesta talked to MLB Clubhouse Confidential’s Brian Kenny about “Moneyball,” the Dodgers and his current team, the Mets.
  • The Mets could have the largest single-season payroll cut in MLB history – more than $50 million, according to Adam Rubin of
  • Speaking of money: Here’s a yearly progression of the highest-paid player in baseball dating back to Nap Lajoie’s $6,200 salary in 1902, provided by William Juliano at Bronx Banter.
  • Juan Pierre, 34, has signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies, joining Scott Podsednik in the competition for a spot on their roster.  Something tells me that a .279 hitter in 639 at-bats with 27 steals would have gotten a better contract if evaluation methods in baseball hadn’t changed to de-emphasize batting average. His OPS+ was .657 and he was caught stealing 17 times.
  • Another former Dodger, Brad Penny, might be headed for Japan, reports Jerry Crasnick of Penny, 34 in May, had a 5.30 ERA in 31 starts and 181 2/3 innings for Detroit in 2011.
  • Noted by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports: If Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension is upheld, his first 2012 game would be May 31 at Dodger Stadium. It’s a weekday afternoon game.
  • This year, Stanford may well have first pair of classmates picked first in both the NFL and MLB drafts: quarterback Andrew Luck and pitcher Mark Appel, writes Jack Blanchat of the Stanford Daily.
  • Some of you might find this interesting: According to this MediaPost story by Mark Walsh, ESPN now feels that “instead of determining how to shoehorn its programming from traditional media to mobile platforms, the process is now reversed, with mobile becoming the starting point.”
  • Maybe the craziest collection of trick shots you’ll ever see is in this video, which is kicked off by Don Mattingly and his son Preston.
  • Even crazier … this IHOP commercial from 1969 (via Emma Span).
  • Farewell, Robert Hegyes. Hegyes wrote about his “Welcome Back, Kotter” experience at his website. Groucho Marx and Lucille Ball were fans.

* * *

The deadline is fast approaching, but there are still spots open to play in Softball Tournament on February 11 at Big League Dreams in West Covina, where readers of Dodger blogs will play with and against each other. Sign up and be part of the fun.

Another day on the Hong-Chih Kuoller coaster

Hong-Chih Kuo hasn’t thrown since Friday and received treatment today, reports Ken Gurnick of Hopefully, it’s just precautionary …

Chad Billingsley became more and more pleased with his mechanics in an 84-pitch, six-inning outing in a minor league game. Gurnick and The Associated Press have details. And Gurnick has a vow from James McDonald to come back strong from his demotion to the minors.

Your top story tonight, however, is this feature on Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo by Chris and Alex Volk at

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