Meeting new people, seeing old friends at the Orange and Blue Series

I dropped by the fourth game of the Orange and Blue series after work today.

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I ran into former Illini shortstop Shawn Roof at the game.  I hadn’t seen Roof (shown above with junior Nathan Lawrence) since the Big Ten Tournament last spring so we caught up with each other.  He talked about his summer in the Tigers minor league system which he really enjoyed.  The Lakeland team ended with a slump but the minors are treating him well.

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Billy Barrett started for the Orange team.

If the above photo looks a bit crisper than normal, I have one man to thank.  I showed up to Illinois Field and whipped out my adequate Canon S3 camera and started taking shots.  A man a few feet away was snapping pictures with a much better camera with a huge lens.  He generously offered to let me put my camera card into his camera (which probably cost more than a used car) and take a some photos.

His name is David Milner and it turns out he is the father of Ty Milner, catcher for the Illini.  We soon got talking, mostly about the team, the Cubs and photography.

Thanks David for the use of camera.  If you ever need someone to babysit that Mark II, I’m your man.

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Joey Bonadonna was the third base coach today.  JB is a fun player to watch, always in the game, hustling.  I’m looking for him to have a breakout season next spring.

Speaking of Bonadonna, he’s got another award to add to his mantle.  In addition to his Silver Glove award, the Northwoods League named him the Top Offensive Second Baseman.

I have many more photos at The Baseball Zealot Photo Gallery.

There’s one more chance to see the Illini in action this fall.  Saturday, after the football game the guys will suit up.  So if you are up for some baseball, stop by Illinois Field.

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