Sun photographer Gene Sweeney Jr. says farewell after 30 years
As my time at The Baltimore Sun comes to a close, I was asked to encapsulate the 30 years (half my life) in a few paragraphs – which is impossible. If added together, I’ve spent years at a variety of stadiums, arenas and gyms around the country, with an up-close view of sports history. I’ve covered World Series, Super Bowls, Final Fours, Stanley Cup Finals, etc., and I’ve been paid to be there — what a job! My career in Baltimore lasted longer then Cal Ripken Jr.’s, and I have thousands of photos to prove it.
My very first assignment with The Sun in 1983 was the induction of Brooks Robinson into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Twenty-seven photos were used in our two papers. Last February covering the Super Bowl, hundreds of photos were used in galleries on our websites. From film to digital cards, from newsprint to the Internet, how times have changed. Through it all, hopefully I brought a little bit of the scene back to you, our readers and now “viewers” too.
So as I head into the sunset (literally, I’m moving out west), I want to thank you, the readers, for letting me take you along for the ride. That is a journalist’s job, and I hope I have done it well. Finally, to that cute blond who I met in the first row at Memorial Stadium (yes, while I was working), thanks for hanging with me all these years as my wife. That was my best day at any stadium.
So goodbye, so long and thanks to all of you. It was one heck of a ride.
Jul 10, 2017 @ 01:12:15
Dear Mr. Sweeney,
I just came across this article and wanted to let you know how special you are as a photographer and person. Back in 2004 you took incredible pictures at the Preakness and I had the honor of speaking to you about a special horse. I’ll always remember your kindness and generosity . I hope you have a wonderful retirement and I’ll bet you are still doing incredibly brilliant photos and making a difference in the lives of others. Wishing you and yours all the best! Sincerely, L.A.
Jan 23, 2014 @ 22:48:29
Gene, I am just finding about this now since I am no longer living in Maryland and was looking up some tv/radio/news stories to catch up on things. It was my utmost pleasure to meet you in Baltimore at Memorial Stadium back in the 80’s. You were always so kind to me everytime we had the chance to chat it up before or even sometimes during events depending on what the Sun had you covering that particular day or night.
Your photography was so amazing to see over the decades and while I am saddened that you have left the Sunpapers Company I am so glad that you will get the time you deserve in retirement to catch up on the things that you have probably wanted to do for you but didn’t have the chance because you always had like 3 to 5 cameras on you (depending on the event and the pictures that you wanted to shoot) everytime you were working an event.
You are the one of the classiest individuals I have ever come across and one of the few in that business that I could truely call a friend.
Gene, enjoy your many years of upcoming retirement and maybe sometime we’ll get a chance to meet up again somewhere down the road and catch up on old times.
Here’s wishing you nothing but the best.
-Drew McMahon- One of the workers in the press box at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore,Md.
Aug 05, 2013 @ 07:07:44
I knew this was coming, but I am still not ready for it. The sidelines won’t be the same without you. Enjoy the next level of your life
Aug 04, 2013 @ 20:49:24
Amazing photos Gene! Wishing you the very best in your retirement!
Aug 02, 2013 @ 12:52:14
You are a terrific guy, and the last of a dying breed, a brilliant photo-journalist tied to the hometown paper for decades. I’m proud to call you a friend and look forward to watching you enjoy the sunset years.
Aug 02, 2013 @ 11:44:15
Good luck, Gene, and thanks for the great photos! I hope it wasn’t a forced buyout, but whatever the reason you’re moving West, we wish you all the best!
Aug 02, 2013 @ 11:34:31
My best to you, Gene. You’re a fine man, a fine photographer, and it was a pleasure and an honor working with you.
Mary Beth Marsden
Aug 02, 2013 @ 11:06:16
What a fantastic career bringing us these moments that remind us how much we appreciate Baltimore and the history of the past 30 years. Your images have told so many stories and captured the spectrum of human emotion….and for that we all thank you. Personally, you are a joy to be around and to work with in the field. Congratulations on a great legacy! Now….have a fantastic new chapter in your life!!! (which I know you will:)
Dennis M. Sweeney
Aug 02, 2013 @ 09:46:20
Great career. Sorry to see you go. Will miss seeing your photos that always enhanced the news.