Get The Bloody Story!

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The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation broke ground at what will soon be home plate of a youth baseball field at the site of the old Memorial Stadium. It’s the first of several parks planned to be built around the city of Baltimore.

Today is a day I’ll never forget, not because the ceremonial press conference itself was so exciting, but because I got an uncontrollable nosebleed in the presence of Maryland royalty.

Among the hundreds of important people that I was in very close proximity to were:

  • Cal Ripken Jr., National Baseball Hall of Famer and Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Founder
  • Bill Ripken, 12-year Major League Baseball veteran and Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Founder
  • Senator Frank Kelly, Chairman, Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
  • Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of Baltimore
  • Brooks Robinson, National Baseball Hall of Famer
  • Art Donovan, Pro Football Hall of Famer

I also had my camera and tripod set up next to a slew of camera grips and reporters from every major media outlet in the Baltimore area.

Right before the Mayor was introduced, I looked down and saw that the keys on my Blackberry phone were doused with blood. Looking down was a bad choice, as red droplets decorated my bright yellow polo shirt and bright orange Baltimore Sun lanyard.

I tried stopping the blood with my hands, but this was no ordinary nosebleed. I frantically made a makeshift tissue out of the 8.5 X 11 paper blueprint of the field that I was given earlier.

I left my camera to avoid any further embarrassment. I wandered around aimlessly behind the audience for what seemed like an eternity, hands and face bloody. Luckily, my fellow reporter, Kirby Mills, had a stroke of genius and instructed me to go to the bathroom.

So there I stood in front of the mirror in a bathroom of the YMCA for twenty minutes waiting for my nose to stop bleeding. Naturally, it happened to be bathroom break time for an entire camp full of kids. Their reactions varied: laughter, concern, fear, to name a few.

All the while, the Mayor of Baltimore and one of the Maryland’s most beloved legends were addressing a crowd. I left it to fate that my camera would capture it all without any human assistance.

I cleaned myself up and joined the rest of the press for a close-up interview with Cal Ripken Jr.

What nosebleed?

You’d never know it from the video.

Get the story, at all costs.

Iron Man Office.

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There’s a possibility that Cal Ripken Jr. is offered an advisory role in the Baltimore Orioles front office. Read the story here.

This is the short clip of him discussing the situation today at the groundbreaking event at the site of old Memorial Stadium.

‘O’besity Awareness.

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The Baltimore Orioles hosted the 2010 Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth (PLAY) Campaign event on Tuesday. Orioles Head Athletic Trainer, Richie Bancells, and Orioles Pitcher, Brian Matusz, ran a fitness clinic for local kids, and talked to them about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

Besides what’s in this video, I don’t have many thoughts about the event itself. My thoughts were elsewhere.

Although I’ve covered the Orioles nearly every week this summer, I hadn’t been down on the field since Opening Day. I was thrilled to be back on grassy turf, sweating it out on a 90-plus degree day in the middle of a record-setting Baltimore heat wave.

I always find working on the field of Oriole Park at Camden Yards to be extremely soothing. The symmetry, clean lines, and vast openness of the park are an escape from the chaos that fills the rest of the city. I took a few moments to meditate on the warning track in right field.

After being out there, I’ve found myself reminiscing on all the great memories from my time with the O’s.

On The Road.

"A car wheel glides along Interstate 95 in New Jersey Thursday, June 17, 2010."

I’ve been on the road a lot lately.

My trusty Subaru Forester compiled hundreds of miles two weeks ago, after long journeys to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania and Brewster, Massachusetts.

I’ll be back on the road again in a few days, driving up to Boston, Massachusetts with some friends for the 4th of July weekend.

I shot this frame out the passenger window, and lots more like it, when my Dad and I drove up to Brewster.

I-95 is rather boring.

David Hook.

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This was my first personality feature for The Sun. This was also the first time I’ve been assigned to a topic like this.

It’s difficult to explain my feelings leading up to my interview with David Hook, which happened last Wednesday in his East Baltimore home. Just hours before, I was sardined into a tiny corner of a bar full of drunk, rowdy U.S. soccer fans. This assignment couldn’t be more different.

I really didn’t know what to expect. I was both nervous and excited, but when David told me, “I have quite a story,” I knew he was happy that I was there.

He was right. His story is truly compelling, and the composure with which he told it was inspiring.

As a journalist, one must strive to stay impartial. I learned this week that that’s not always so easy to do.

USA! USA!

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Here’s a more general showing of the atmosphere at the bar.

Now that the USA have advanced, I’m sure we’ll be back to Sláinte to cover another game.

Not a bad day at “work.”

Baltimore World Cup Fervor.

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Sláinte Irish Pub and Restaurant in Fells Point is Baltimore’s premier place to watch soccer.

We were sent to the multi-level bar during the World Cup group stage game between the United States and Algeria.

The place was off the wall. Nearly everyone I talked to told me they were supposed to be at work. On this Wednesday morning, however, there were easily 300 people there, most of whom arrived at 6 or 7 A.M. to stake out a good spot.

I was able to walk around and get some footage from different spots in the bar, but once the game began, I couldn’t move from my spot behind the bar for 90 plus minutes.

It was excruciating watching the U.S. blow opportunity after opportunity. It was even more painful filming everyone’s expressions as shots went anywhere but in the net.

As shown in the video, everyone exploded with excitement as Landon Donovan scored the winning goal in stoppage time. Our story, then, was about the long, emotional build up capped off by a last minute, dramatic finish.

Heat Wave.

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Temperatures rose well into the upper 90’s yesterday in Baltimore, marking the official first day of Summer.

The extreme temperatures are expected to continue throughout the week.

We got sent out to report on how people were coping with the heat. After walking around a nearly deserted Charles Street, we decided to head to the Inner Harbor.

It was a bit difficult to find a compelling angle for this story. The facts are straightforward: it’s Summer and it’s hot outside.

But, on hot days when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.

We talked to four people that were on the job at the harbor. This video came together as a sampling of how the heat affects (or doesn’t affect) the downtown workplace.

Bawlmer, Hon!

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Nothing says Baltimore like the annual honfest in Hampden, Maryland.

The festival celebrates “hon,” a Baltimore slang term of endearment. Short for “honey,” the term epitomizes the friendliness shown throughout history by the working women of Baltimore. At honfest, locals celebrate this history by dressing up in over-the-top 1960’s vintage attire.

Honfest also features the “Baltimore’s Best Hon” contest every year. Contestants “must have a unique HON style, command of our beloved language, “Bawlmerese,” and a great personality,” according to the honfest website.

I’d never been to honfest despite having lived in Baltimore for twenty years. As shown in this video I shot and edited, there were some real characters roaming up and down 36th Street.

Besides the ridiculous fashion that hons are so well known for, I was most intrigued by the copious use of “Bawlmerese.” The Baltimore accent is certainly unique.

I had this in mind while I was shooting, and I think it serves well as the main thread of the video, hon.

Burns on Baseball.

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The legendary documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns, came to speak at The Sun newsroom for the second time in several years.

He discussed his upcoming documentary, “The Tenth Inning,” a sequel to his successful 1994 documentary, “Baseball.” He also shared his thoughts on the most pressing issues that currently pervade Major League Baseball.

It was difficult to narrow this video down because everything he said was extremely insightful and well-delivered. It was a pleasure listening to his opinions, and I was impressed by his knowledge of the game and his ability to provide specific dates and statistics.

Here’s some highlights from his talk.