Stealing bases and hearts, Rangers photographer captures moments from historic season


ARLINGTON — When Alex Bregman hammered an Aroldis Chapman slider deep to left field late in Game 1 of the ALCS last fall, it seemed certain to bring home at least one run, if not erase the Ranger’s slim two-run lead. 

The television camera followed the flight of the ball. Other photographers followed Bregman waiting for a celebratory reaction. As Bailey Orr tells it, being the Rangers team photographer, she has the benefit of being able to always focus on one team. 

She was sure left fielder Evan Carter had a chance to catch it.

The next day, her photo of Carter leaping, his left arm stretched straight above his head, with the ball about to fall into his glove, was everywhere.

This season, the Rangers turned the photo into a bobblehead for a promotional day at Globe Life Field.

“My favorite part of that shot though is actually the bullpen that’s right behind him,” the Orr said this week. 

“I think it’s [Jose] Leclerc and someone else who immediately scream. They’re so excited, and he just looks at the ball and throws it back.”

That’s one of the stories the 24-year-old said she strives to tell with her Rangers photography, beyond just capturing moments of action on the field.

Her storytelling during the team’s historic championship season came about somewhat unexpectedly. An assistant on the staff she was promoted into the vacant top job just before the All-Star Break. Suddenly she was in Seattle with a half dozen players and tasked with leading a team of photographers in the middle of a playoff race. 

“That’s when it started hitting me, it was like ‘ok, this isn’t just about capturing he was here. He did this.’ It was all about trying to capture that race,” she said.

Orr was ready for it. She recalled her mother’s love of film photography when she was growing up as likely leading to her first interest in the craft and remembers picking up a camera herself sometime in middle school.

The “big camera” went with her on a family trip to Yellowstone, and soon friends and family were asking her to take portraits and capture events.

In college at Texas A&M she took a position with Twelfth Man Productions and was instantly hooked on shooting sports.

She was booking her calendar full of weddings and portraits after college when the job with the Rangers opened during the 2022 season. Baseball, she says, “is where I find the most joy in life,” and it was a no-brainer to move up from her home south of Houston to take the job.

She now takes pictures at every home game. She’s been to the All-Star Game; the World Series; the Hall of Fame as new member Adrian Beltre toured for the first time.

Her team’s pictures caused some of the players to almost come to tears this spring, as they were presented with the framed photos of moments she helped pick out, that they might not have remembered; like Dane Dunning hugging his wife, with the child sandwiched in between, in celebration on the field.

“To watch them relive the moments that are otherwise a blur for them is probably one of my favorite parts of the job,” she said.

She was quick to credit her team, and veteran photographers from around the sport who helped point her to the important moments she would want to be there for during the fall.

This season, her eye, and all eyes, will be on the defending champs. She will be aiming to capture the fans, the ballpark, and the energy of it all, which she admits will be hard to do.

“Day by day. That’s how we’re going to do it.”