• Tom Hayden played right

    Twenty-nine years ago I photographed people at play for a series in my portfolio. I wanted to shoot Tom Hayden, who I knew as the right fielder on a team in the men's baseball league I played in. He agreed to pose for me at a batting cage in mid-town, and we made some good images. I gave him a print, and figured that was the end of our business. The next year I was looking for a new team, and called him to get his manager's number. And that's how I joined the Hollywood Stars in 1988.

    Over the next two years Tom and I became friends, first through baseball, then through politics, and then just because. We had midweek work-outs and rode to games together on Sunday. We went to movies. I volunteered on some of his campaigns, and he kept me involved between elections. He debriefed me after my first date with my wife, and we attended each other's wedding receptions. He gave our son a tour of the State Senate. Mostly, though, we had baseball.

    That version of the Hollywood Stars eventually disbanded, and the bond between us weakened. It's always that way in baseball; the ties forged on the field decay at a constant rate away from it. We last spoke about 13 years ago. We played catch in Culver City, and talked about his young son and about my teenage son. Then we parted and got on with our lives.