Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Interview with Trevor Hoffman

     Back some time ago I had the opportunity to interview Trevor Hoffman (currently #2 on the all time saves list) and we discussed many topics. Here is an excerpt from that interview in relation to his second career in photography.

1998 Upper Deck Collectors Choice Trevor Hoffman

     Me: Let's go back in time to 1994 , the year of yet another baseball strike. What was it like for you during that period.

   Trevor: 1994 was a turbulent year for me. I had taken over as closer for the  Padres and was having a decent season. My fastball was working real good and I settled into the closer role pretty well. Then in early August the players union decided that we needed to go on strike since the owners wouldn't budge on their CBA demands. We were the worst team in all of baseball so in some ways it was like a case of mercy for us since we were losing so much. 

    Me: So where does the second career come in?

  Trevor: I am getting to that, don't rush me.

    Me: My apologies, please continue.

   Trevor: After we went on strike I was hanging out at Del Mar Beach playing football and volleyball. there were a couple of instances where I fell on my shoulder where the second time I heard a sound like the air being let out of a tire. I didn't let on how bad it was but I never threw 95 again after that. That was the beginning of my development of my change up that I learned from Donnie Elliot a year or two earlier. I never used it in a game before but it was time to make it happen since my fastball was no longer quite as fast.
   Anyway while we were out and my arm was hurting I figured I should find something else, you know just in case the whole closer thing didn't work out as planned, little did I know it would. I had always liked taking pictures and a friend asked me for a favor and that was the beginning. He needed pictures taken at a charity event he was holding at the beach so I offered my time since I was out of work so to speak at the time. I ended up having a ball and had the "shutter bug" if you will.

   Me: Shutter Bug? That's a bit corny, don't you think?
   Trevor: You know what I mean, don't be a schmuck.

   Me: Sorry. How did you take it to the next level?

   Trevor: Well, when my buddy got the pictures from the event they looked real good, so good in fact that a few made it into a local magazine called Cali Country. He told me the editor said I could go pro taking photos if I wanted too.

    Me:  Did you believe him?

    Trevor: Of course I did, I am the #2 all time saves leader, damn Mariano, I was a seven time all-star, a Cy Young runner up, and I hold a bunch of pitching records.

    Me: Um, Trevor..... you hadn't done any of that stuff just yet, this was 1994, remember.

   Trevor: Shut up, my mother told me I took great pictures so it had to be true.

     Me: So how did things progress from there?

    Trevor: At first it was small steps, I would get hired for birthday parties or baby baptisms and other stuff like that. It was fun, I made a few bucks, and I could work things around my training schedule. Then in the fall I got my big break. I was pretty bummed at that point since it was the time that the World Series would have been played but I got a call to do a Bat Mitzvah. Not just any Bat Mitzvah but the Schwartz Bat Mitzvah. Benny Schwartz was a big Hollywood guy who invested in movies, rock bands, clubs, etc. and was a well liked person in the elite circles down in Burbank. I went to do the gig with a pocket full of business cards and it was incredible. There were so many people from all different ends of the entertainment industry from movies, music, and sports. I made many contacts that night.

   Me: Sounds like a big break for sure.

   Trevor: I just said that, didn't I?  Who do you work for anyway?
   Me: That's not important, please go on. Take us to the point of that picture on the 98 UD Collectors Choice card (above).

   Trevor: I continued to book those upscale parties and such through the end of 94 and into 95. In March it looked like we may settle the strike thing and get rid of those scab players in training camps around the league so I upped my training regiment and really honed in on my new change up so I would be ready for the season. I still did the picture thing on the side since you never know when it could all end. Also when we returned to baseball we did not have an agreement, we just returned under the old contract and a new CBA wasn't agreed on until November of 96 so who knew what would really happen.

   Me: That picture on the card looks like you were playing at the time.

   Trevor:  I'm getting to that point, you really suck as an interviewer, who are you anyway?

  Me: Who I am doesn't really matter, we are here to talk about the great Trevor Hoffman.

   Trevor: Oh yes, the great me! Anyhow as my career on the field was taking of, you know a bunch of saves, awards, etc. but I still did the picture thing on the side and during the off season. In 1997 I was contacted by several of the baseball card companies to take pictures for them. They figured that I could get much better access to the players and they were right. Like that card shows, I would get shots on the field before, during, and after games and have many many of my pictures on cards from the late 90's on up. Topps, Panini, Donruss, Upper Deck, and all those other companies don't have anything on my creative twist on baseball card pictures.

   Me: As a collector I have seen your work and think it's great.

   Trevor: Of course you do, why an I doing this interview again?

   Me: Your agent set it up but don't bother him with any of the details, I have that all covered. Now that we learned about your photography career, let's get to know the personal side of Trevor Hoffman, you know, the soft side.

   Trevor: I've had enough of you, SECURITY, SECURITY!

Disclaimer: While some facts may or may not be true, this interview is fake, made up, full of it, imaginary, phony, fictional,   and all my creation with no input from anybody else including Trevor Hoffman.

   There you go, this is my latest entry in Nachos Grandes contest. Please vote for me when prompted  toward the end of the week.

Thanks for Reading!


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