Saturday, August 19, 2006

Keeping The Faith On The Highway Of Life

Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

SCHAUMBURG, Ill.- Life is funny sometimes. Just when you think you're where you need to be to get things done, the momentum switches with one phone call and you take another turn.

This week has tried my faith and my heart. Knowing someone I love could be faced with something that could take them away from me makes me look deeper into my soul for answers and strength.

On Thursday night, after a trying two days, I only had a few hours notice to pack up so we could drive all night to reach Schaumburg, Illinois at 6am Friday morning for an afternoon appointment in Chicago, Ill.

I honestly thought my time down here was over for the season, but it seems fate always finds reasons for me to come back. In July it was to celebrate a life, the life of a special woman who has had 90 wonderful years of love to share with others and is as bright as a young woman about to embark on a new life.

Now, I am back not in celebration of anything but with hope for a better, brighter future still to come. It's been a whirl wind of a week full of heart ache, hope, faith, love and incredible support from so many.

I feel blessed to know so many people in my life are here to hold me up when I feel like I can't stand alone. Even a friend far away can make a weary heart find a little more faith with a kind phone call.

I still don't know where this road is going to take me, but this journey, no matter how rough the surface may seem will be a better one for knowing so many are here to help me make it through.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Melanoma: The Most Serious Kind Of Skin Cancer!



Melanoma: the most serious kind of skin cancer!

SAINT PAUL, Minn.- If one person is helped by this then I have done something positive. Tuesday evening, not long after my previous post on the K.C. Chiefs the phone rang and some bad news hit home-the melanoma was back.

Someone very close to me had a melanoma removed from their arm after being diagnosed with this deadly form of skin cancer in January and after a biopsy of the same area last week during a check up the results came in- the melanoma is back.


People I CANNOT stress enough how important it is to pay attention to your health especially any questionable spots or freckles. When you have a physical make sure that part of it includes a skin check.

We do not live in a perfect world and I am guilty of sitting in the ballpark and forgetting to reapply sunscreen on a very hot, sticky day and I have been burned even knowing the game of roulette I am playing.

Again I am going to repeat my previous post from January:

It sounds clich√© and everyone has an opinion but it is VERY important to realize the magnitude of skin cancer and how it affects people’s lives on all levels. No one person is immune to cancer and although there are many forms of cancer ranging from breast to brain and skin cancer, it (Melanoma-cancer) is a deadly disease people are fighting and surviving everyday.

Here is where I jump on the old soapbox. I want everyone to remember how important it is to protect yourself from the sun. Please remember to wear sunscreen when you go out doors whether it is to ski, run, play or watch baseball. It is not a matter of if cancer can happen because I am here to tell you it can and will. With preventive care, sun protection and a visit to a physician yearly to check skin changes and spots you can catch and beat a deadly disease.

For information on skin cancer, a body map, sunscreen recommendations and other facts please visit the Skin Cancer Foundation.


There are also free screenings avaiable just visit: http://www.skincancerscreeningtour.com/ Put in your zip code and find a screening location near you.

Again I am trying to be positive about it all but sometimes I cannot help but feel like I am in the bottom of the ninth on deck with 2 outs, 3 balls, and 2 strikes. Please, if you take anything away from this post- Protect yourself and your loved ones from skin cancer.

Thanks for listening!

Fun With The Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp

"And all you fans - Kansas City, San Francisco, all over the NFL, I want to thank you for your continued support." - Joe Montana

I realize this isn't baseball related but it is another sport I love. A sport driven by incredible inner strength, team work and the last team one of my hero's, Joe Montana, played for before retiring from the NFL.

This year I made it to the 16th Kansas City Chiefs summer training camp at the University of Wisconsin River Falls in River Falls, Wisconsin. It was fun to photograph something new. I've been fortunate to have many opportunities in the past few years to photograph everything from motocross to football and am looking forward to the other challenges which lay ahead for me.

In the mean time I wanted to share a few of the photographs I took this afternoon for everyone to enjoy. I had fun and no matter where your journey in life takes you, if you aren't having fun while you're out there working hard you miss the point of it all.

“You've got to earn it. You can't count on other people to do your job for you.”- Herm Edwards, 2006 Head Coach for the Kansas City Chiefs


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

RIVER FALLS, Wis.- Kansas City Chiefs during an afternoon practice at Ramer Field at the University of Wisconsin River Falls on August 15, 2006.


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

RIVER FALLS, Wis.- Kansas City Chiefs during an afternoon practice at Ramer Field at the University of Wisconsin River Falls campus on August 15, 2006.


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

RIVER FALLS, Wis.- Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards (right),
in the end zone at Ramer Field at the University of River Falls during an afternoon practice on August 15, 2006.


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

RIVER FALLS, Wis.- Kansas City Chiefs during an afternoon practice at Ramer Field at the University of Wisconsin River Falls on August 15, 2006.

Update: Photographs Current For 2006

Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

SAINT PAUL, Minn.- A picture says a thousand words right? How about thousands of words from a few hundred of the best photographs from my trip which have been uploaded to Baseball Notions for the Northern League games I attended from July 2, 2006 through July 22, 2006. Please select the August and July archives to view all the photographs and posts.


Thanks for stopping bye. Be sure to make enough time to enjoy them all!

JackHammers Celebrate 5-2 Win Over RailCats


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- JackHammers celebrate 5-2 win over the RailCats at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

JackHammers Out At First


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- JackHammers out at first after RailCats infielder Steve Haake makes the tag at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

RailCats Outfielder Jermaine Allensworth


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats Outfielder Jermaine Allensworth just off second base during a game against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

JackHammers Run To Third


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- JackHammers runs to third after a hit against the RailCats at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

RailCats Versus JackHammers


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats versus JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

RailCats RHP Travis Kerber


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Travis Kerber prepares to throw against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

RailCats Outfielder Kevin White


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats Outfielder Kevin White just off first base during a game against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

RailCats Run To Second


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats run to second in a game against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

JackHammers Attempt Pick Off


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- JackHammers RHP attempts a pick off against the RailCats at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

JackHammers RHP Throws Against RailCats


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- JackHammers RHP throws against the RailCats at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

JackHammers RHP


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- JackHammers RHP throws against the RailCats at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

Dancing, Romancing Between Innings


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- A little romancing and dancing on the field as a mascott tries to seduce a Northern League Umpire between innings as part of the evenings entertainment at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

RailCats Outfielder Kevin White


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats Outfielder Kevin White at second base waiting to run at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

JackHammers On Third


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- JackHammers on third in a game against the Gary SouthShore RailCats at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

JackHammer Time


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- It's JackHammer time at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

JackHammers Hitter


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- JackHammers hitter at third at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

Water Logged In Joliet As JackHammers Bat Dog Slip And Slides


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- Joliet JackHammers bat dog enjoys the imense supply of water on the tarp covering the field during a rain delay using it as a slip and slide at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

RailCats Pre-game Meeting


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats have a pre-game meeting during batting practice at Silver Cross Field on July 22, 2006.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Out At Second


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats get an out at second against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats RHP Ryan Brandt Throws To Second


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Ryan Brandt prepares to throw to second base for an out against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats Lose The Ball


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats catcher Steve Booth looses the ball after a pitch against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats RHP Ryan Brandt


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Ryan Brandt prepares to throw against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats Outfielder Kevin White


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats outfielder Kevin White makes a play for an out against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

Joliet JackHammers Make Out


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- Joliet JackHammers make a play for an out against the RailCats at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats RHP Sazi Guthrie


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Sazi Guthrie prepares to throw against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats Outfielder Mike Coles


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats outfielder Mike Coles (left) makes a play against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats RHP Sazi Guthrie


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Sazi Guthrie prepares to throw against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats RHP Sazi Guthrie


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Sazi Guthrie prepares to throw against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats RHP Sazi Guthrie


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Sazi Guthrie prepares to throw against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats Booth, Guthrie And Manager Tagert


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats catcher Steve Booth (middle) on the mound after Manager Greg Tagert (right) brings in RailCats RHP Sazi Guthrie (left) to throw against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats RHP Jason Shelley


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Jason Shelley throws against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats Shortstop Jay Pecci


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats shortstop Jay Pecci (center) makes a play for an out at second against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats Shortstop Jay Pecci


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats shortstop Jay Pecci (center) makes a play for an out at second against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats RHP Jason Shelley


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Jason Shelley throws against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

Action At First For RailCats RHP Shelley


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Jason Shelley makes a play for an out at first against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats RHP Shelley Makes An Out At First


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Jason Shelley makes a play for an out at first against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats Shortstop Jay Pecci


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats shortstop Jay Pecci (left) makes a play for an out against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats RHP Jason Shelley


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats RHP Jason Shelley throws against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

The JackHammers Bat Dog


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- The JackHammers bat dog retrieves a JackHammers bat between batters at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats Celebrate Scored Runs


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats celebrate in the dugout after catcher Chris Curry and outfielder Kevin White come in for scoring runs in a game against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats Curry And White Score


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats catcher Chris Curry and outfielder Kevin White come in for scoring runs in a game against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.

RailCats Catcher Chris Curry


Niki Paton / Baseball Notions

JOLIET, Ill.- RailCats catcher Chris Curry comes in to score a run in a game against the JackHammers at Silver Cross Field on July 21, 2006.