By Samantha Pell
PHOENIX — Brewers relief pitcher Rob Scahill isn’t trusting his memory for all the great things he’s seeing during his baseball travels.
He turns to his Nikon D3200 to capture his favorite scenes. Baseball is his livelihood, but photography is his hobby, and a passionate one at that.
“When I’m done playing, it will be something to remember what I got to do,” Scahill said on Tuesday at Maryvale Baseball Park.
As of Tuesday, Scahill’s nine most recent posts on Instagram (@rscahill53) included a New Year’s Eve photo of him and his wife, pictures of empty ballparks and a stunning photo at dusk of Pittsburgh’s PNC Park and the adjacent Allegheny River that had racked up 335 likes and nine comments.
Scahill, 30, isn’t one to boast about his photography skills.
“I probably post one to two from each place we go if I end up going out to take pictures there,” Scahill said. “Just a couple, I don’t like to kill people’s feeds.”
With more than 100 posts and 2,000 followers on Instagram, Scahill has documented his career in baseball since he broke into the majors with the Colorado Rockies in September 2012. He is also a self-proclaimed “amateur photographer” on Twitter.
He used an iPad to start his passion for photography and only when his interest increased did he get a Nikon D3200 from his parents for Christmas in 2012. Scahill still uses the camera and has about six lenses.
Scahill credits pitcher Adam Ottavino, a photo enthusiast, for getting him hooked on photography. They went on several photo excursions when they were with the Colorado Rockies.
In September 2013, they traveled after a game in San Diego to nearby Coronado Island. With camera and tripods in tow, they sat down on the beach and took shots of the San Diego skyline until about 2 a.m. before catching an Uber back to their hotel.
Scahill moved from Colorado to Pittsburgh for 2015, and then in the middle of last season joined the Brewers. He’s in camp now on a non-roster invite.
His Instagram collection includes photos of major-league parks from cozy Fenway Park to expansive Dodger Stadium, from waterfront AT&T Park in San Francisco to Coors Field a mile up in Denver.
His favorite photo was taken in June 2013 on a trip to Toronto. At Polson Pier one night, he noticed the red, green, blue and purple city lights reflecting off the water in Toronto’s Inner Harbour. One click made a memory.
“I like to shoot long exposure and it ends up being at night after the games,” Scahill said. “So occasionally people see me walking out with my camera and a couple lenses with me. But for the most part I don’t really go around and take pictures of people in the clubhouse or anything like that.”
Photography is just a hobby for Scahill at the moment. However, his future after baseball could involve sports photography. For an inspiration, he has a tall Hall of Fame pitcher.
“I follow Randy Johnson, he takes some pretty good pictures,” Scahill said. “Who knows. Maybe one day.”
(Video by Sydney Cariel/Cronkite News)