Tales from the Beat: What happens when a photographer gets lost in the excitement of the 2007 Cleveland Indians

By Tom Hardesty | Assistant Sports Editor Published:

The 2007 Cleveland Indians captured the imagination of Northeast Ohioans with their scintillating run to the American League Championship Series.

The Tribe hadn't been to the ALCS since 1998 or to the playoffs since 2001, so their appearance in the postseason in 2007 had fans hanging on every pitch -- including former R-C photographer Timothy Sainte-Hilaire.

I was working in the office in the old R-C building in Ravenna one fall evening in 2007, and as usual the television in the sports department was tuned to an Indians playoff game. Tim was out shooting a sports event for us that night, and when he was finished he would be heading back to the office to process his photos for the next day's paper. In other words, business as usual.

But as we discovered, it was anything but for Tim.

As we busily produced the sports section for the following morning's edition of the Record-Courier, Tim finally arrived from his assignment and took his customary place at the photographer's computer to process the photos he had taken.

And as he did so, he related the following story to us.

It went like this:

When he had finished shooting the sporting event in northern Portage County, Tim got in his car and immediately turned on the radio and tuned in to Tom Hamilton's call of the Tribe playoff game. Tim made his way south down Route 44 toward Ravenna, listening to the Indians game as he went.

He quickly became captivated by the game, almost totally losing himself in the exciting events on the baseball diamond as his car plowed through the darkness -- a darkness that suddenly was interrupted by the flashing lights of a squad car behind him.

Not realizing how fast he had been going, Tim dutifully pulled over and waited for the officer to arrive at the driver's-side window. Tim had become so mesmerized by Hamilton's call of the game that he had completely lost track of his speed.

He wondered just exactly how fast he had been zooming down 44: 60 miles per hour? 70? 80? Faster? He didn't know, and was worried that it was a high enough speed to warrant a hefty ticket.

The officer finally arrived at Tim's window and asked the usual questions in such a circumstance.

Then came the query Tim had been anxiously awaiting: "Do you know how fast you were going?" asked the officer. Tim said he had no idea, wondering to himself what astronomical number his car had been clocked on radar.

Said the officer: "Sir, you were going 10 miles per hour."

Tim was taken aback. Ten?!

Down Route 44?

Tim had been so caught up in listening to the Indians' game that he didn't realize he had nearly stopped operating his vehicle altogether.

Now that's having your head in the game.

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