*This is my Round 3 entry for Nachos Grande's contest. Thanks for reading.*
Adam smiled as he hung up the phone. It was a long time coming, but he would finally have a little sweet revenge.
It all started back in 1992. Adam was starting a new career as a freelance photographer. He was assigned to shoot player photos of the Houston Astros during spring training. A couple of the players found out it was his first time to photograph major leaguers and soon everyone knew Adam was a "rookie". While Adam was lining up shots of Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, Steve Finley gave him what Adam would soon discover was the old "hot" foot. As Adam danced around trying to shake the flames off his shoe, he knocked over his tripod and broke his camera. Finley ran off giggling like a school girl, but Bagwell and Biggio chipped in and gave Adam enough cash to replace the camera.
During spring training of 1993, Adam spent time photographing the Rangers, but in 1994 he was assigned to the Astros again. No longer a "rookie", Adam was on the lookout for pranks, especially when it came to Steve Finley. Despite his vigilance, Adam fell prey to Finley again during his day at the park. Finley blew a bubble with his gum and put it on Adam's cap. Unfortunately, it was a cap that Nolan Ryan had signed and given to Adam earlier that morning. Adam didn't notice the gum until later that day and by then, it had stuck right on the spot Nolan signed. Again, Finley didn't seem to care other than to have a good laugh at Adam's expense.
1995 rolled around and Adam missed shooting spring training photographs due to being hospitalized with what was later diagnosed as "Hysterical Depression". It came on suddenly when he was part of a focus group that saw a very early screening of Kevin Costner's movie Waterworld. Apparently seeing Costner's character drink his own filtered urine was just too much for Adam to bear.
Adam was fully recovered (although he would tell you he never really go over it) from his illness by the Spring of 1996. He was happy to be assigned to photograph the San Diego Padres because he wouldn't have to see Steve Finley. Unfortunately for Adam, during his illness he hadn't followed baseball and didn't realize Steve Finley was a Padre now.
Adam was taking shots of the players with their name placards, standard practice to ensure each player was identified correctly. As if he would ever forget Finley's face. Adam kept an eagle eye on Finley, hoping against hope that he would escape the pranks this time around. As Finley picked up his name card, he took a step toward Adam. Adam reflexively took a step back without realizing Rickey Henderson was behind him. Henderson was down on all fours and Adam was upended over Henderson's back. As he fell, he must have pushed the shutter release on his camera because he caught Finley's rather effeminate celebratory dance and smile.
Embarrassed, Adam quickly got to his feet, took his remaining pictures and left, hoping to never seen Steve Finley again. Later, as he reviewed the photos to be submitted, he smiled when he came across a shot of Finley that he didn't know he had. He quickly called his contact over at Score and asked if he could send over a "must use" shot.
The call he received a couple of hours later was the source of his good mood. Shortly after that call, a courier delivered a mock up of the card that would be released in the 1996 Score set.
Adam finally had his sweet revenge on Steve Finley. The shame of this card would lead Finley to retire from baseball.
Eleven years later.