As a sports photographer and, more specifically, the team photographer for the Atlanta Braves – one of the great challenges of my job is giving a fresh look at something. For Bobby Cox’s retirement ceremony on August 12, 2011 – I wanted to really do something unique. Bobby, for the brief time I was able to interact with him, is everything that you’ve ever heard about him. He’s gracious, friendly and down to earth.
For his retirement, I wanted to make something that encapsulated some of the Cox-ian baseball/life philosophy that I had come to admire. Even when Bobby was on stage surrounded by 50,000 fans at Turner Field – his first words were congratulations to new manager and Cox protege, Fredi Gonzalez and his successful 2011 squad.
From the clubhouse staff to the superstar players, Bobby is liked by pretty much everyone. Watching him work you learn the wonders of patience and loyalty. Bobby’s 159 career ejections, his 2504 career wins, his 14 straight division titles, his four Manager of the Year awards – say about as much as numbers can.
If you got a copy of “Bobby Cox: The Final Season”, however, you would see that the outpouring of gratitude from those who know him far outweighs any statistical. From Elton John to the Big Three of Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine to Jimmy Carter – there’s much respect for ol’ number 6. And rightfully so.
Bobby always put his team first so the photo mosaic I created reflects that sentiment. The image roughly 6.5 feet by 5 feet is made up of 2,504 unique (but sometimes similar) photos. One photo for every major league win.
The mosaic is made up images entirely from the 2010 season, and they include all of the players and some behind-the-scenes moments of Bobby managing his final season. While theres software that does the meat of the work, theres a ton of preparation to be done. I used the professional version of Andrea Mosaic, which is a great piece of software and is available for free to users (except the pro version). That being said I wanted a lot of control over the final product – without exhaustively going into details – it took about four full days of work to find, arrange, crop, tint photos – the program however works very quickly to output a file considering the Herculean task its undertaking. The posters turned out great, but the canvas printed by the good folks at Gallery Street at the full size of 5′x6.5′ looks spectacular.