With the Major League Baseball Playoffs getting underway last week and the country getting caught up in Toronto Blue Jays fever once again, I started to think about the baseball season that was and the photos that I was able to capture. 

Here, in no particular order, is a look at some of my favourite baseball photographs of 2016. They won't be gracing the pages of Sports Illustrated or ESPN The Magazine any time soon and I am doubtful that a service like Getty Images or the Associated Press will be picking them up. I know I have a lot to learn yet in sports photography but each one of these images has a story to them or a specific detail about them that make them stick out to me. 

There is value in photographing sports. Whether it is minor baseball or at a recreational level, it is always awesome to see photos of what happened. They share a little story about that moment that someone looking at the photo in a year, five years or ten years down the road might enjoy and spark a conversation or debate. Baseball is a sport that is rich in history and photographs help preserve that history for others to experience. 

I hope you enjoy the photos!

 

Bryan Toles of the Camrose Axemen hits a single (a career defining Texas Leaguer) against the Sherwood Park Athletics in what very well could be the last at bat of his career (2004-2016). The longtime player/coach of the Axemen has been contemplating retirement | July 20 at Footz Field, Edmonton

Armena Royals shortstop Jordan Hoover hits a three run home run in game three of the Powerline Baseball League Championship. The home run would be one of two for Hoover in the game | August 9 at Anniversary Park, Armena

A very cool moment after Winkler (MB) won the 2016 Peewee AA Western Baseball Tournament. All the parents and volunteers who travelled the roughly 1,342km from southern Manitoba to St. Albert joined in the celebration | August 14 at Legion Memorial Ballpark, St. Albert

This was the last play of the Ryley Rebels 2016 season. Rebels shortstop Dylan Solberg valiantly attempts to get to first base. Headfirst slides have been scientifically proven to not get a runner to first faster......but sometimes it sure feels like it helps | July 26 at Rosalind Ballpark

The definition of a play at the plate in baseball has changed recently, for player safety reasons. No longer are runners allowed to go through catchers and catchers can no longer block the plate. Sometimes though, things just kind of happen. Like this collision between the Camrose Cougars (blue) and the Edmonton Angels (black) at Midget AA Provincials | July 29 at Four Seasons Park, Beaumont

Showcasing the vastness of playing the outfield was what I was trying to capture with this photo. There is a lot of green for one guy to cover and there is often no one behind you to help if you make a mistake | August 6 at Rudy Swanson Park, Camrose

As you can see on the scoreboard the Peewee AA Western Canadian Championship game was a little bit of a runaway. In fact this home run was a walk off mercy win for Winkler (MB) over the Camrose Cougars. The crowd beyond the fence was watching in amazement at the distance and the intrigue to see who's vehicle it would land on | August 14 at Legion Memorial Ballpark, St. Albert

A member of the Grande Prairie Reds Pee Wee AA team gets mobbed by teammates after scoring the winning run against the Sherwood Park Athletics | August 5 at Rudy Swanson Park, Camrose

Edmonton Primeaus shortstop Kyle Fagnan throws across the diamond in a game versus the Camrose Axemen in North Central Alberta Baseball League action | July 13 at Harry Andreassen Field, Camrose

The South Jasper Place Jays would fall behind against the St Albert Cardinals in the championship game at the 2016 Mosquito AA Provincial Tournament. The Jays would rally to within one run in what seemed to be a miracle in the making (the Cardinals would hold them off to win 8-7). Most people feel that the power of the rally cap and whatever it was that this young man was doing, had a big role in keeping his teammates loose and having fun | August 7 at Rudy Swanson Park, Camrose

Sherwood Park Athletics catcher Mike Falkins (white) would be thrown out twice at home plate by Camrose Axemen centre fielder Jordan Riopel in the same game. This is a shot of the second time there was a play at the plate which was just before Falkins was ejected for arguing with the umpire | June 8 at Harry Andreassen Field, Camrose

A preseason tournament for the Camrose Cougars Mosquito AA team had some tense moments that required the use of the rally hat. The Cougars would end up winning the game versus the Fort Saskatchewan Red Sox | April 29 at Rudy Swanson Park, Camrose

Camrose Axemen second baseman Ryan Petryshyn is in the process of throwing out an Edmonton Primeau hitter while first baseman Joe Pasychnyk sets up at the bag | May 17 at John Frye Park, Edmonton

Tom Shulba of the Ryley Rebels gets down a text book sacrifice bunt against the Leduc Milleteers. The little things in a baseball game are often the things that end up having the biggest impact on the outcome | June 16 at Ryley Ballpark

The Camrose Cougars Midget AA team would go on to win silver at the 2016 Provincial Tournament. This is a photo of pitcher Ty Twitchell pitching against the South Jasper Place Jays in the semi-final | August 1 at Millwoods Park, Edmonton

Game one of the 2016 Camrose Axemen season saw Blair Mulder kick up a dust storm sliding head first into third base against the Edmonton Athletics in the top of the first inning. | May 8 at Footz Field, Edmonton

This was the winning run for the Camrose Cougars AA Midget team against the Edmonton Angels in the Midget AA Provincial Tournament. Lying almost completely on his back allowed the Cougars runner to avoid the tag of the Angels catcher | July 29 at Four Seasons Park, Beaumont

Ryley Rebels short stop Dylan Solberg turns at first base and is looking for extra bases at the Ballpark in Ryley. The small village's ball field has the iconic trees beyond the outfield fence along with an old windmill in the background. Plus that flow | July 21 at Ryley Ballpark

The small village of Rosalind played host to game two of the Powerline Baseball League Championship this season as their Athletics took on the Armena Royals. The small ballpark affectionately known as 'the Homer Dome' due to it's small field dimensions is home to baseball fans in the area | August 4 at Rosalind Ballpark

There is nothing like support from a teammate. In this case Camrose Axemen outfielder Blair Mulder (5) gets encouragement all the way down the third base line from reliever and third base coach Kyle Muzechka | June 1 at Archie Jenkins Field, Bon Accord

The Winkler (MB) third baseman would be almost completely horizontal when it was all said and done but despite the effort, the ball would evade the youngster at the hot corner | August 14 at Legion Memorial Ballpark, St. Albert

A baseball fan gets a video of some baseball action. It doesn't matter what camera a person has, it is all about the moment that they are capturing | August 5 at Rudy Swanson Park, Camrose

Pregame hype for the South Jasper Place Jays | August 5 at Rudy Swanson Park, Camrose

Getting hit by a pitch sucks some times. Getting hit by a pitch and not being awarded first base because the ump didn't feel like you made enough of an effort to move out of the way sucks every time | August 2 at Anniversary Park, Armena

When you are a kid playing baseball, having a good coach who helps you mentally prepare before stepping into the batter's box goes a long way to help a young player enjoy the game and have success. Here a coach from the Calgary Bandits talks to a hitter during a mound visit | August 6 at Rudy Swanson Park, Camrose

Rosalind Athletics second baseman Matt Enright begins to lay out for a chance at a line drive. Unfortunately for Enright the ball would get by the out stretched glove for a base hit | August 4 at Rosalind Ballpark

And to answer your question, yes I am still living the dream and playing baseball. Every once in awhile I even get lucky and a pitcher will throw a ball right where my bat is like this seventh inning double against Kirk Smith of the Beaumont Angels in Powerline Baseball League action - we would go on to lose 8-0 (Photo Credit....someone sitting on the bench)  | May 26 at Four Seasons Park, Beaumont

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