First person: Gene Puskar at LLWS

Gene Puskar, a staff photographer based in Pittsburgh, has worked for The Associated Press for more than 35 years. He first started covering the Little League World Series in the mid-1980s and continues to do so today. As the 2014 tournament made its way to Williamsport, Pennsylvania late last week, we asked Gene about some of his all-time favorite Little League World Series images he has taken.

Below are Gene's comments accompanied with his image selections. 

 

"At the Little League World Series emotion is everywhere, unlike in the professional leagues. This photo shows the end of a game with a player from the losing team walking back to the dugout while the volunteer umpire does his best “out” call for the ESPN cameras in the background."

Cumberland, R.I's Christopher Wright reacts as he runs to the dugout after striking out to end a baseball game against Clinton County, Pa. at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011. Pennsylvania won 2-0. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

"As the saying goes in baseball, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains. And when it rains at the Little League World Series the fun REALLY begins on the hill overlooking Lamade Stadium. With no action on the field, the crowds take to the muddy hill where sliding in mud brings out the kid in us all."

Little League fans slide on the muddy hillside overlooking Lamade Stadium during a rain delay in the baseball game between Manati, Puerto Rico and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico during pool play at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., Monday, Aug. 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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"Shooting action from the roof of Lamade Stadium is always fun, since it's not possible in the pros, except in a stadiums like in Milwaukee and Toronto that have catwalks above their fields. This was the first inning of the second game played at the LLWS this year. The leaping start of a futile slide by a player from Chicago made this shot. Chicago won 12-2."

Chicago's Danon Radcliff, top, is tagged out attempting to score by Lynnwood, Washington catcher Robley Corsi III during the first inning of a Little League baseball game in United States pool play at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

"Shooting Little League baseball offers me a chance to get much closer to the action than I can when confined to the photo positions I shoot from while covering the Pittsburgh Pirates. Nice outfield action is always a welcome diversion from the usual hitters hitting, pitchers pitching and base runners running. This is a nicely lit photo that captures the peak action of the moment with the left fielder leaping for the ball that just tips off the end of his glove."

Chula Vista, Calif., left fielder Kevin Bateman II can't make the catch on a fly ball hit by Westport, Conn.'s Matt Stone in the fourth inning of the United States Championship game at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013. Stone was out attempting to advance to second on the play. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

"Winning a Little League baseball game is fun. And when you win on the biggest stage in the world, televised by ESPN, the winning is especially fun. So, as with dejection, expressions of jubilation are magnified at the LLWS."

Chula Vista, Calif., first baseman Luke Ramirez, right, celebrates with pitcher Kiko Garcia after the last out in Chula Vista's 6-3 win over Taoyuan, Taiwan, in the Little League World Series championship baseball game in South Williamsport, Pa., Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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Rapid City base runner Bridger Nesbit, center, runs around Lynnwood catcher Robley Corsi III, left, and is called out by umpire Carlos Rodriguez Jr., right, for being out of the baseline for the final out of a baseball game at the Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. Lynnwood won 7-5. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

 

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