Celebrate Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin with Jean Fruth

Photographer Jean Fruth brings Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin to Gallery 270 at Bergen County Camera in Westwood, NJ, on Friday, June 21, 2019.

Celebrate Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin with Jean Fruth

Gallery 270 at Bergen County Camera | Westwood, NJ

In Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin, photographer Jean Fruth features more than 250 of the best images from all levels of the amateur game in the US as well as several hotbeds of baseball around the world. Here's your chance to hear her first person stories at Gallery 270 at Bergen County Camera in Westwood, NJ, on Friday, June 21, 2019.

Each chapter opens with a portrait of a baseball legend and a first-person essay recounting his early memories of playing the game. Some of the stars highlighted in this full-color book include Whitey Ford, Vladimir Guerrero, Hank Aaron, Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, and Ichiro Suzuki. The pages that follow in each chapter document the game from sandlots to big time ballparks, and at every level of organized baseball, giving readers a window into how these legends’ careers began. With an introduction by Cal Ripken, Jr., a foreword by Steve Wulf, and an afterword by Johnny Bench, this book makes the perfect gift for baseball fans of all teams.

“I’ve learned that the game is more than just a sport – it is dreams and aspirations for so many youngsters wherever I go," said Fruth. "The culture of baseball is so much bigger than just what happens on the field.”

From a small darkroom to the most iconic stadiums flooded with lights — Jean Fruth’s trajectory as one of baseball’s preeminent photographers has taken her on a round-the-horn tour of the sport’s most indelible landmarks.

First base was New York City, where as a student she fell in love with the alchemy of photography. Second base meant a move to Healdsburg, California, where her focus turned to portrait photography, both in-studio and on-location. From there, Jean covered the Giants and A’s for the better part of a decade, before turning her attention to the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in Cooperstown, New York, where she helped to build the museum’s profile and photo archive by contributing her work to the venerable institution over a three-year period. While shooting for the Hall of Fame, her year-round baseball calendar started with the Caribbean Series and then moved to spring training, MLB’s regular season and post season, then back to shooting grassroots baseball over the winter in Latin American countries.

“There is always baseball being played somewhere in the world every month of the year. It is my pleasure and truly an honor to be documenting with my camera, and telling the stories through my photos," said Jean. "Capturing the action on the field is exhilarating, but there is so much more … including all of the people and places that are part of the game’s landscape, which provides a look inside the National Pastime and its many cultural subjects.”

Jean is a traveling photographer for La Vida Baseball, a digital media company that tells the story of Latino baseball across the United States and Latin America through original video, written and social content.

She is honored to be recognized by Sony as one of its 45 Sony Artisans of Imagery, worldwide.


Read more about Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin on SouthBrooklyn.com