Joseph Spampneto just went to his first Major League Baseball postseason game.
He will never forget it, because he tagged himself.
The Braves fan and Atlanta resident was sitting in Section 409, upper deck, at Turner Field for Game 3 of the National League Division Series this past week against the Giants. He is proving it and showing off the view to all of his Facebook friends, after tagging his seat in the MLB.com Postseason TagOramic that is becoming all the rage among social baseball fandom.
You can find him right here.
"I typically go to about 10 home games a year, but this was the first postseason game I've ever been to," Spampneto said. "So, to see myself sitting in the stands from this perspective was great. I didn't think I would be able to zoom in on myself and see so clearly where I was sitting. Now, I can show my friends exactly where I sat during the game and how close I was to the action, hopefully making them jealous in the process.
"I never thought I'd see myself immortalized in a huge panoramic photo at a game. I really hope to see this used at other games in the future."
The process of photographing and digitizing a Major League Baseball crowd takes about a half hour, typically done between the second and fourth innings. It takes about six hours after the game to produce the GigaPan imagery, and it is available the next morning.
The most common question so far has been over frequency of games. In the Division Series, MLB.com produced TagOramics for one home game per club. That will be the same case during the League Championship Series round, plus any Game 7. The shooting schedule this round is Yankees at Rangers Game 1, Giants at Phillies Game 1, Rangers at Yankees Game 3, Phillies at Giants Game 4. World Series frequency is TBA.
If you are between the foul poles, as viewed from a center field camera, and assuming you weren't up buying a hot dog or using the restroom, or grabbing a souvenir, you should be able to find yourself or a friend. It uses Facebook Connect, so this is how people are sharing their baseball experience.
Yes, this photo can have 40,000 or 50,000 people tagged. Not your average Facebook pic.
"One of the most interesting things about the TagOramic was its ability to capture the entire atmosphere of the ballpark for the highest attendance in the history of the franchise," said Rangers fan Brian Brown, a Plano, Texas, resident and University of Missouri freshman. He tagged himself at Game 3 of the ALDS against Tampa Bay at Rangers Ballpark.
"Not only could you see the crowd in full, but you could zoom in with the utmost accuracy to be able to see anything you wanted. I was in the upper home run porch in the upper-left-hand corner of the shot. One of the most interesting things about TagOramic for me was not only the fact that you could find yourself anywhere in the stadium, but you can also instantly share the fact that you've tagged yourself with all your friends on Facebook.
"As a diehard Rangers fan, it was an incredible experience to be part of a historical day in the history of the franchise. I love that it's been captured by TagOramic and I love that I've been able to leave my mark as well by tagging myself.
"I went to about 15-20 home games this summer, as well as an away game in Kansas City, about two hours from where I go to college," he added. "I never really knew the technology existed to be able to pinpoint specific fans throughout a large crowd like this. I'd always tell people, 'I was in this section,' or 'I was in this many rows up from the dugout,' but I've never been able to do it like this. I think TagOramic is something that will enhance the fan experience unlike anything else ever has."
Christina Lee of Philadelphia tagged herself and her sisters at the Reds-Phillies NLDS Game 2 at Citizens Bank Park. She is now training for the upcoming New York City Marathon, and just imagine if there was a similar shot that captured the entire field of 40,000 or so runners, allowing you to zoom right in on yourself and tag it for all your runners friends.
Baseball is doing this and fans are noticing. Try it. Look for your friends and tag them, too.
"I've posted it on my Facebook and my friends have reacted positively," Lee said. "One even was sad that Game 1 [Reds at Phillies] wasn't an option for him to tag himself.
"I absolutely love it. I'm always trying to find myself in videos at games. I guess I'm a bit of a ham."