Looking back at the 2012 College World Series


Any seasoned coach will tell you that stats and predictions only get you so far in the College World Series. Anything goes.  I shoot a lot of baseball in any given year. But I see the most exciting play, whether it is a great diving catch in the outfield or a play at the plate, at the College World Series.


Kent State’s Derek Toadvine tags out Florida’s Preston Tucker on an attempted steal for the second out in the top of the first inning on June 18, 2012. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD


The level of competition and raw emotion at the CWS is always top-notch.

I have always felt it comes down to one photo.  The essence of winning and losing; the whole series is generally summed up in the seconds and minutes following the final out.

I find that often the losing team is slow to leave the field. They mournfully watch the winners celebrate but have a reluctance to leave the field where they have spent the last week. They want to savor every last moment, even if it is bitter one.


South Carolina players, from left, Chase Vergason, Logan Munson, Patrick Sullivan, Adam Matthews, Michael Roth, Evan Marzilli and Hunter Privette, watch as Arizona celebrates its College World Series victory on June 25, 2012. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD



We generally have three or four photographers at all of the baseball games. Two staffers spend the entire game in the photo boxes, which are just beyond the team dugouts. I get a little restless in those spots, so I often opt to roam around the field with a 500 or 600 mm lens and a wide angle for pictures of fans enjoying the sites and sounds of the series.


Florida State’s James Ramsey kneels before stepping up to the plate in the 10th inning of Arizona’s 4-3 win over Florida State on June 15, 2012. Ramsey struck out. ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD-HERALD


But being the “roamer” comes with new responsibilities. I’ve got to take care of the edit. In addition to an eternal deadline to keep our website updated, we have multiple newspaper edition deadlines. For a 4 p.m. game, I would take pictures through most of the innings, then grab each photographer’s compact flash card and take them to their computers where I would edit for online. For 7 or 8 p.m. games, I would have to run cards by 8:45 p.m. to get pictures in by 9:45 p.m. for our Iowa and Nebraska editions. After transmitting, I’d run right back out to shoot the end of the game, then turn around and edit to meet the Omaha edition deadline, which is, more or less, as soon as physically possible.


Abby Hillmer, 14, of Fort Calhoun, Neb., and Alli Bippel, 15, of Omaha take cover from rain and wind in general admission just before heavy rains fall at TD Ameritrade Park on June 20, 2012. ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD-HERALD


One of the biggest challenges of editing the College World Series games is choosing the best images. If we have four photographers at a given game, then we most likely have four angles on any given play. It’s a lot to keep track of, but we’re blessed to be able to have so many photographers at each game. It makes our edits stronger.



I haven’t shot much baseball, aside from some Husker games during the school year. So, going into CWS with a team of well-trained professionals with the OWH was daunting at first. After my first day, it got easier. In the second game I covered, Stony Brook was knocked out, and although it was sad to see such an underdog go home, I really enjoyed shooting postgame that day.


Members of the grounds crew remove two fans who jumped onto the field during a College World Series game. ANDREW DICKINSON/THE WORLD-HERALD


The learning curve for photographing baseball is huge, but I’m grateful to have been a part of the OWH team and to learn how they operate on such tight deadlines and shoot to such high standards. Congrats to Arizona!


Arizona celebrates after winning the College World Series 4-1 by defeating South Carolina in the finals game two at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on June 25, 2012.



I knew the line of storms wasn’t going to allow the Kent State-South Carolina game to be played on June 20. As I looked around the stadium I saw a man and his son wrapped in thin plastic weathering the deluge. I headed around the park to them hoping to get there before they too took shelter. The rain was coming down so hard that I lost sight of them until I was in right field. Brent Gilster had brought his son Landon to the game for his 10th birthday. They arrived early to get the best general admission seats, and the two were not going to give up their seats even if there was a slim possibility that the storm would pass.


Brent and Landon Gilster try to celebrate Landon’s 10th birthday and refused to leave their seats because they wanted to stay on the front row of general admission seating as the storm delayed the start of the game. MARK DAVIS/THE WORLD-HERALD


They waved when they saw me, both still full of joy to be at the park despite the severe weather. I imagine it’s an adventure they will remember for the rest of their lives, father and son against the elements.

For me, the spirit of the fan is what excites me about the College World Series. And those that brave the worst of the days at the park are my heroes.


The lights remain on despite the cancelation as a storm moves through Omaha on June 20, 2012. MARK DAVIS/THE WORLD-HERALD


More Viewfinder and the CWS

It wouldn’t be the CWS without a rain delay

From the Archives: Rosenblatt and the College World Series

The World-Herald’s CWS page

Chris Machian

About Chris Machian

I was born in Omaha, graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a journalism degree in 2004 and have spent most of my life here. I was a photo intern with the Omaha World-Herald in 2003 and had various roles with the company before becoming a staff photographer. I love to shoot UNO hockey and last year placed video and still cameras inside the goal to provide our readers with another unique perspective. My goal is to use available technology in ways that help our readers understand the stories we cover. For instance, in 2011 I used Gigapan technology to provide a wide view of flooded areas while allowing users to zoom in on the smaller details. My love of this job extends beyond disasters and sporting events; I also enjoy covering the events that help define Omaha's cultural landscape.
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  1. Great shots, Chris. Fantastic job of capturing the spirit of the CWS.

  2. [...] Right now, we’re all in recovery mode. Two weeks have passed since the conclusion of the College World Series, and barely more than a week ago we saw the closing ceremonies for the U.S. Olympic Swim [...]