Kid Chocolate Alias Eligio Sardiñas Montalvo

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

In all my previous trips to Cuba, we never put boxing on our people-to-people trips or our humanitarian trips. On this VIP trip (Joe and JoAnne) Havana was seen up close and personal. I asked where the boxing gym was and they all said Kid Chocolate. Not wanting to be argumentative, I said, “Si!” Of course I know Kid Chocolate as Peter Quillin, a middle weight from Chicago. Well, there was another Kid Chocolate and that Kid Chocolate had a total of 152 fights and 136 wins. Kid Chocolate is now the name of the boxing gym in Old Havana. Of course, not doing my research properly, I showed up at the gym on a Sunday. I go to Gleason’s on Sundays all the time… well Kid Chocolate is not open on Sundays, so two security people who spoke a little English said to come back mañana. Sure enough we returned mañana and the security people, recognizing us from the day before, took us through the back door. I have to tell you, this was the smallest, darkest, and most cramped boxing gym I’ve ever been in- and I’ve been in a lot of gyms, some in bars and even in private homes. They didn’t have a ring! I spoke to the manager of the gym. We talked a little bit and I gifted him a few of my boxing photographs. We also met all of the boxers that were going to work out that day (all boxing in Cuba is amateur and amateur only- it wasn’t that way in the 20s, 30s and 40s, but it is that way now). My initial reaction was, ”Wow, this venue is impossible to make a good photograph in.” As one of my old friends would say, it was “o’dark 30.” JoAnne stuck her head in and said she’d sit outside. Well, we walked two miles to the gym and I wasn’t ready to walk two miles back so I said, “Let’s make a few frames.” I switched to black and white, went to jpeg fine and shot everything with a 24mm lens. I looked at a few of the images and they seemed to be acceptable. When I went out to get a breath of fresh air, JoAnne was meditating; I asked her if she would like to come back in and she did. Being the seasoned pro that JoAnne is, she made sure she knew exactly where I was shooting and made sure to stay out of my frame as I made sure to stay out of her frame. The two of us danced around this extremely small, extremely hot, extremely  dark gym and guess what? The photos turned out to be just fine. Fast forward a week later (the first time we got to a computer) and I looked at JoAnne’s work and I have to tell you it was amazingly great.I loved her images, which shouldn’t surprise me. I’d like to share these images with you as well. There’s no doubt we are going to go back. As a matter of fact, I may look for an angel or two to see if we can go back and make a documentary on Cuban boxing. The number one trainer is Carlos Manuel Miranda La O and the associate trainer is Michell.

Please take some time to read this Wikapedia page on the real Kid Chocolate from the 1930s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kid_Chocolate 

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

 

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

Ringside or Ring Sight? That Is the Question.

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© Dylan DiMaggio

The main protagonist in my film “in this corner” is Harry Keitt. Harry is a former heavyweight boxer who now trains fighters. The fighter he is working with today is “Big Baby” Miller, who on Friday night was fighting for the WBO and ____ Heavyweight championship. We called our agent and requested two ringside credentials, one for Dylan and myself. The venue agreed (I told the promoter that if we couldn’t have two at ringside that I would not cover the fight. He assured me no problem). The day of the fight, we were informed that there would be only one ringside position and one auxiliary (which was supposed to be a great position.) We picked up our credentials at 6 o’clock. I made the executive decision to have Dylan shoot ringside and I would shoot from the auxiliary position. I believe the auxiliary poisiton was approximately 250 yards from the ring. You would think that Dylan got the best part of the deal until you realize that the only fight we HAD to cover didn’t start until after 12 o’clock midnight. Someone once asked what it was like to be a professional working photographer.  I’ve heard ten photographers say the same thing, “Hurry up and wait!” And thats what you do you – hurry up and wait. Being up since 5 AM with no dinner and it being after midnight the next day which was Saturday morning, after seven hours of standing and no break, nor bathroom is not the easiest thing in the world. Well, the reality is Dylan kicked ass and took names.  For the record, ten minutes before the main event, the promoter came over and said, “Here’s your ringside credential.”  The interesting part of it is that after waiting six hours, I was cold, not an excuse – I’m not complaining… just explaining. The reality is, Dylan outshot me.

As a footnote: That is just this one time. Rest assured, next time I’m going to try and blow his doors off! The question is, well you know what the question is, but let’s be clear about one thing: I’m not hanging him up just yet. Maybe in ten or fifteen years…but not yet… I take my beret off to Dylan. Once, just once.

© Dylan Michael

© Dylan DiMaggio

© Dylan Michael

© Dylan DiMaggio

fight

© Dylan DiMaggio

Gordie Howe The Great

© Unknown

© Unknown

A very dear friend of mine reminded me that a blog should not be an obituary, and of course he is right. It’s not my fault that so many great, powerful, wonderful people have chosen to move to another plane of consciousness on my watch. Believe me, I wish they were still on this plane. I genuinely miss them. Anyone who knows me knows that I occasionally like to tell a story. Not often, but once in a while. The story that follows needs no embellishment.

While I was on assignment for SI, I was in Detroit photographing the Detroit Red Wings. I had a mediocre shoot, nothing spectacular. Sometimes that happens (all of my hockey film is at the Hockey Hall of Fame in their archives, so I have no Gordie Howe to share with you.) So here we go.

To all the ships at sea, I make it a practice of being either the very, very first one out of a stadium or the very last. I have a tough time  dealing with crowds bumping, banging, and pushing. So, if I can get out fast to the press parking lot, I get out and go. If I can’t, I like to hang out in the press room. I’m in the press room and the TV and local newspapers are gone. It’s just me and a tin bathtub of beer with lots of ice and lots of water. The door opens up and this tall, good looking guy walks in, severely backlit. He walks in and says, “Hey man, can I have a beer?” and I said, “Of course, take two!” He picks one up, pops it open, and takes a seat before I realize its Gordie Howe. Suffice it to say, I almost ____ my ____. I’m not big on getting starstruck but this is Gordie Howe, man, the one and only Gordie Howe! He asked, “May I have another?” and I said, “Take whatever you want!” He takes another and puts it in his London fog coat. (At this point he looks like the great author Vance Packard.) He filled every pocket of his jacket with beer, popped another one and said, “Thank you very much!” He walked out with a lot of beer. I said, “Gordie, why don’t you get a group of the guys and bring a tub of beer on the bus!” and he smiled. We’ll miss you Gordie. He was one funny S.O.B.

The other two photos I put in because this is a hockey blog. Anyone wanna take a guess on the kind of camera or film used? Email me at http://dimaggiokalish@gmail.com

@ Joe DiMaggio

@ Joe DiMaggio

@ Joe DiMaggio

@ Joe DiMaggio

 

 

 

Don’t Look Now- Somebody’s Gaining On You!

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO - OCTOBER 16: Cesar Cielo of Brazil blows water out of his mouth before he competes in the men's 100m freestyle final during Day Two of the XVI Pan American Games at Scotiabank Aquatics Center on October 16, 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO – OCTOBER 16: Cesar Cielo of Brazil blows water out of his mouth before he competes in the men’s 100m freestyle final during Day Two of the XVI Pan American Games at Scotiabank Aquatics Center on October 16, 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

To all the ships at sea,

I believe Satchel Paige once said, “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” I guess there’s a lot of sports photographers that haven’t been looking back these days. Well guess what? Al Bello is coming. As a matter of fact, he’s moving at light speed. Please understand, I’m not putting anyone down. This photographer is absolutely great. There are a lot of great photographers out there, but he’s quite special. To be honest, I never had a hard look at his webpage until last week. He has an ability to get the most out of the men and women he is photographing. What. A. Pleasure. Here is the link to his page, check him out.

http://albello.com/

Upcoming Workshop Gleason’s/ DUMBO, Brooklyn March 13th 2016

Romain-8571

© Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

To all the ships at sea,

Gleason’s Gym is the oldest boxing gym in the United States, located in DUMBO, Brooklyn for those not familiar with the term it means -Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Great day, great fun, great people, great photos – join us

Brooklyn Bridge ©DiMaggio 3197 e

Brooklyn Pier & View of Manhattan from DUMBO © Joe DiMaggio All Rights Reserved

 

Ace could win Westminister, or maybe Belmont… I don’t know which one.

©Joe Di Maggio

©Joe Di Maggio

Like most photographers, when I’m feeling a little rusty, especially with my hand eye coordination (that really shouldn’t happen if your 25 years old right?), or if  just want to check out a new camera or new lens, I’ll take my best friend (my best male friend), Ace… my puppalupus.  He’s so much fun to be around, and to be honest with you, he makes one hell of a great model, especially when he makes eye contact.  I think what he’s saying is, “Joe I love you,” “Joe, if you get a hoop and set it on fire, I’ll jump through that.”  How many of our friends would do that?

To all the ships at sea, when you’re feeling a little rusty, go out and rent a puppy, steal a cat, or go to the zoo.

Have a great day.

©Joe Di Maggio

©Joe Di Maggio

 

©Joe Di Maggio

©Joe Di Maggio

Melchior the Great

Melchior DiGiacomo has had an extremely amazing career, it would be fair to say that he’s one of the finest tennis/sports photographers in the United States.  Some of his black & white work is amazing.  He’s a great street photographer and has the ability to make a fine photographs in some of the most adverse conditions.

 

 

©???

©???

The Junior Tennis Foundation (JTF) will recognize four integral members of the tennis community on Friday, April 24, 2015 at 7 p.m. during the 28th Annual Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame celebration at the Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Mel DiGiacomo has been a staple at the US Open for the last 44 years. Whether it is down on the court, in the stands or directly alongside the players, DiGiacomo is there with his camera in hand. In addition to the US Open, DiGiacomo has traveled the world to photograph a variety of sports and events.

The North Bergen, N.J. native currently lives in Harrington Park, N.J., where he has proudly resided for the last 40 years. 

“It’s remarkable that Harrington Park, a 4,800 person town, has two residents in the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame,” DiGiacomo said. “Neil Amdur, the former sports editor for The New York Times and me.”

DiGiacomo began his career at CBS as an usher and worked his way up to production supervisor for “60 Minutes.” After working for CBS for ten years, he decided to become a photographer when he was 27 years old.  

“My friend photographed my semi-pro football practices on the weekends and I always made fun of his photos,” DiGiacomo said. “One day, he joked ‘if you’re so good, get a camera,’ so I bought one, put it together and told him that’s what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

A year later, DiGiacomo moved to England to photograph rugby, then moved back to the United States and photographed hockey at Madison Square Garden. 

“A publisher hired me to make a hockey book,” DiGiacomo said. “Gene Scott, founder of Tennis Week magazine, saw it and wanted the same thing, only for tennis.”

DiGiacomo didn’t play tennis and, at the time, had never seen a tennis match. As someone who was familiar photographing football, DiGiacomo began shooting tennis matches with a football lens. The different lens gave him a new perspective to the game, which made him take photos in a way no one else did.

“In those days, you could get close to the players,” DiGiacomo said. “I used to shoot everything in black and white and in a very photo-journalistic style, which was another thing people hadn’t been doing.”

DiGiacomo’s photos have been featured in several publications including, Sports Illustrated, Tennis Magazine, Newsweek and Life Magazine. His new style of shooting and vivacious personality greatly influenced his fellow photographers.

“He’s a wonderful person to be around because he is so friendly,” Bob Litwin, a close friend of DiGiacomo’s said. “Even with really famous people he becomes a friend, not just a photographer.”

Throughout DiGiacomo’s time at the Virginia Slims Circuit and US Open he interacted with several professional players, writers and fans including Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors, Arthur Ashe, Martina Navratilova and Mary Carillo. 

Outside of sports, DiGiacomo photographed a number of weddings, specifically tennis weddings. The first wedding he shot was Jeanie Brinkman’s, the director of the Virginia Slims Circuit. 

“I didn’t think too much of it,” DiGiacomo said. “Then, 20 years later, I was asked to shoot Jimmy Connors’ manager Karen Scott’s wedding, and more stemmed from there.”

Pam Shriver, a former professional player, Richard Evans, a longtime tennis writer and Gene Scott each requested DiGiacomo for their big day. 

DiGiacomo values all of his work, but is most proud of the impact he has made in Antigua photographing the tennis tournament at Curtain Bluff. In his first year shooting there, he noticed the ball boys and girls had bare feet, so he followed them home to their village, Old Road. 

“I ended up doing a book that had nothing to do with tennis, but also had everything to do with tennis,” DiGiacomo said. “I was down there for tennis, but I went into the village to document their stories.”

The proceeds from DiGiacomo’s photographs go into the “Old Road Fund” to benefit the children in the village. When the fund earns enough money, it goes toward helping the children attend college. 

DiGiacomo has always supported tennis and the people he has met through tennis. He raised both of his children to become tennis players because he values being part of the tennis community and enjoys that tennis is a sport his kids, who are now adults, can play for years to come.    

“I owe a lot to tennis because it changed my life,” DiGiacomo said. “It has given me so much, my family too.”

mel-martina_navratilova

©???

Michael Schumacher – Get Well Soon

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

To all The Ships at Sea

We are all motivated by a myriad of passions – likes, dislikes, and history. The list is infinite. When I made a decision to call my Editor and tell him I wanted to photograph the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix in Austin Texas he thought I was out of my mind. From a business standpoint his concerns were valid. So exactly why did I find it necessary to invest a week of my life into that specific race? A few reasons were I never photographed Vettel, Hamilton, or Alonso and last but not least, Michael Schumacher and I knew this would be one of his last races. When he decided to return to Formula One I called a friend, Lewis Franck a great race car writer in the U.S. and we both agreed this was not a good idea for Michael to make a comeback. We were both genuinely concerned about his well-being after his retirement from Formula One, as it’s very hard to make a come back. Both Lewis and I were extremely happy that Michael’s second retirement from Formula One left him healthy and happy. Anyone who lived on the ragged edge of F1 and the inherent dangers of open-wheel racing at upwards of 200 mph for him to leave the sport healthy and happy with seven world championships – it just doesn’t get better than that. The minute I heard the word of Michael’s skiing accident my heart stopped and I immediately called Lewis. Race Car fans, let us say a prayer for Michael that he comes out of this okay.

On a lighter moment… at pit stop practice, Michael’s F1 tub very gingerly touched my shooting vest at 55mph it did get my attention (we were both on the proper side of each other’s line.)

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio
© Joe DiMaggio

 

 

Oh My God, it’s May!

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

If it’s May, it has to be the Indianapolis 500. This photograph was selected by Sports Illustrated as the third greatest photograph in the last 100 years of the 500. They reproduced it in the centennial issue and on their website. That’s the good news, the bad news is they never asked me. Does the word “copyright” mean anything to anyone? Who said “power to the people”? No, it’s “power to the corporation”, step on all the people. In this society, we all have to play by the same rules. Actually, I think someone wrote that in the Constitution. To my friends; go out and make some great photos. Capture history with a camera. Life is good, life is great. Health and happiness to everybody, even SI.

Alex Ferguson Retires

To all the shjps at sea, my first experience with soccer was meeting Pelé at the airport and following him for two weeks as he attempted to make soccer a main street sport in the United States.

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

“London (CNN) — English soccer’s most successful manager — Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson — is retiring at the end of the season after more than a quarter of a century at the helm, the club announced Wednesday.

The 71-year-old Scot has managed the English club, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and loved by millions of fans around the world, from Manchester to Manila and Montreal, since 1986.

Everton manager David Moyes is the bookmakers’ favorite to succeed his compatriot, and the 50-year-old will be confirmed as the next United boss on Thursday according to widespread British media reports.

During his 26 years in charge, Ferguson — a supporter of Britain’s Labour Party who’s renowned for dressing down players with the “hairdryer treatment” — has won more than 30 trophies, including 13 league championships.

Many fans took to Twitter to voice their appreciation, using the handle #thankyousiralex. He became Sir Alex when knighted by the queen more than a decade ago for his services to the game.

‘Thank you for everything,’ say Manchester United fans

As well as dominating on the pitch, Ferguson has helped build the century-old soccer club into a huge business operation whose progress is followed on stock exchanges around the world.

Its shares dipped nearly 5% in early trading Wednesday.

The Old Trafford club is owned by the American Glazer family, who oversaw the club’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange last August.

For the 2011-2012 season, United increased revenues by £14.2 million to £117.6 million ($182.4), the highest of any club in the Premier League.

But it lost the top spot as the world’s most valuable sports franchise in this year’s Forbes list to Spanish soccer club Real Madrid. Forbes valued Manchester United at $3.17 billion, still ahead of Barcelona, another Spanish soccer club, and two U.S. outfits, the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball and the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL.

Ferguson will bow out after the club’s last game of the season, an away match against West Bromwich Albion, on May 19, according to a statement from Manchester United.”