Monday, May 17, 2010

Minor Show

Spring time and baseball, perfect together; and what better time to mount a show of portraits of aspiring baseball players than the season in which hope if not actual prospects for success spring eternal? Gallery 339 is currently showing Andrea Modica's "Minor League", B&W photographs taken in the early 1990's of ballplayers in the Yankees' farm system.

These portraits reveal little other than a mostly bored-looking bunch of young men lounging around, stuck in the low minors and unlikely to rise. If participation in sports builds character, little if any is much in evidence here. Bad food, long bus rides and less than ideal playing conditions describe the life of most minor leaguers and Modica's portraits succeed merely in contributing to the drabness.

Among those pictured here are catcher Jorge Posada, who did reach stardom in the big leagues, and slugger Daryl Stawberry, in a Dodgers uniform no less. (Someone should tell Modica that Yankess and Dodgers don't mix...ever!) Since Strawberry began his big league career with the Mets in 1983, was traded to LA in 1991 and to the Yankees in 1993, it's hard to fathom what his portrait is doing here among the hopefuls other than to possibly raise the overall level of Modica's game. It doesn't.

Minor League indeed!