First pitch video remedy

By Andrew Gilstrap

It isn’t every day that somebody you know wins the lottery. Or throws the first pitch in an MLB game. Well, my dad and I can claim the latter now.

Our neighbor and good friend, John Perez, a.k.a. ‘JP,’ a.k.a. ‘Johnny,’ got selected to throw out the first pitch before a Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks game here in Phoenix at Chase Field. It was a Friday night game and one of the last of the MLB’s regular season.

Unsure of whether the pitch would be televised for Johnny’s friends in the neighborhood, my dad and I, already planning to go to the game with Johnny and his family, brought along a Handycam and my semi-new, high-end Canon SLR camera. We were more than happy to do the visual production for the evening.


Perez (center, green shirt) waits patiently with his family before the start of the game.

My dad shot the video for Johnny’s first pitch, and I had my first real opportunity to test out the shutter speed on my camera.

Once he was summoned to the mound, it all happened and was over quickly. My dad asked, “He threw a strike, huh?”

I couldn’t even verify. I was so caught up in capturing the moment that I didn’t really pay attention to the result.


Perez’s pitch easily gets over the plate.

Although I love having a new, powerful camera in my hands, the real joy out of all this was getting to produce a couple short videos of Johnny’s moment. If you haven’t already, watch the video at the top of this post. The second video can be found here. Be sure to watch ’em both in HD.

wind up

Perez winds up.

One video utilizes all the still photos I took. The other consists of the video from the Handycam my dad shot, which was obviously easier to edit. I gave each a different flavor, adding transitions and music to both.

For me, working to make videos was like therapy. Amid a chaotic final semester while working on my master’s degree, it was nice to get my mind off school and make something that our neighborhood friends would appreciate. It was great seeing the feedback the videos got on Facebook and seeing comments like, “Thanks for documenting it for the rest of us.”

Prior to the game, Johnny with his two daughters and CenturyLink co-worker, Alex.

I know it was a special moment for Johnny, his family, and his company (CenturyLink), and I hope at least one of my videos is worthy of commemorating the moment for years to come. Because, although I don’t know anyone who has won the lottery, I now know someone who has done something close on the scale of luck. Johnny was called to the big stage, and he delivered.

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