With professional athletes, you never knew what you were going to get. Most were pretty cool. Magic Johnson and Rick Mears were the best. Others, not so much. This is Dodgers shortstop Bill Russell telling me not to take his picture during a game in 1985, even though I was nowhere near him. I was using a telephoto lens and shooting from the photographers’ well (designated shooting area) and he was in the dugout. My first thought: shouldn’t you be watching the game and not worrying about me?
My favorite pro athlete moment would also happen at a Dodgers game in the 1980s. It was a blisteringly hot day, the sun beating down on the photographers’ well. Fernando Valenzuela, the Dodgers’ great pitcher and fan favorite, was in the dugout. He walked over to the well and said, “You look hot. You want some Gatorade?” “Sure,” I said. He walked to the cooler, poured a cup of Gatorade and handed it to me.