The Major League Baseball (MLB) team San Diego Padres have been using a Polaroid camera to document moments of celebration and everyday life this season.
Pitcher Joe Musgrove decided to get the classic instant camera for the dugout after watching his teammate celebrating a home run by mimicking a selfie.
“I was like we should just get a camera for the dugout and we should do our celebrations like that and then I can give the guys all the photos after and it’s something cool for them to keep,” Musgrove tells the San Diego Union-Tribune.
After purchasing a Polaroid camera online, Musgrove and his teammates began documenting the life of a professional baseball team. They even made a wall of prints that are complete with contextualizing notes and the players’ signatures.
Musgrove says that it’s better to be in the photo as it signifies the subject has achieved something great, such as hitting a home run.
K.C. Alfred of the San Diego Union-Tribune, who has been photographing the team for over today, notes that the Polaroids are not going to win any photo contests.
However, aside from creating a camaraderie that is important in team sports. Musgrove and his colleagues enjoy the mercurial qualities that Polaroid photography provides.
“Yeah, they are not great pictures, but I like the uniqueness of it,” Musgrove says.
“It’s almost an antique kind of look to the photo. It’s not super clear and that makes it pretty unique. You never know what you’re gonna get. Some are really good, some are bad, some turn out really cool.”
Occasionally, the camera malfunctions and the camera will spit out two badly printed photos that are stuck together.
Or, the team will forget to bring the camera to the dugout. Padres pitcher Sean Manaea tells a funny story of running to grab the camera as one of their guys is running around the bases to complete a home run.
The Polaroid has had a knock-on effect on the fans too. They have been buying their own Polaroid cameras and attempting to buy the ones that the team has been taking.
The Padres are still undecided as to what they will do with the photos, but an auction or a coffee-table book is in the offing.
Image credits: All photos by K.C. Alfred