TAMPA — It’s an amazing time to live in Champa Bay if you’re a sports photographer. However, for one freelance photographer, a year of championships quickly turned into a year of pain and suffering, after being involved in an accident that has left him sidelined for months.
Mark LoMoglio has entered George Steinbrenner Field hundreds of times, but Tuesday was the first in a wheelchair.
“March 10th I went out for a run, was getting home after my run, went to cross the street, looked, noticed something coming, looked up, there was a bumper of a car,” said LoMoglio.
LoMoglio suffered two broken ankles and a broken hand. Doctors told him it will be at least three months before he can even attempt to walk again.
“Probably the biggest blow to me thinking that I’m going to lose work for an extended period of time after everything that happened last year,” said LoMoglio.
For Mark, sports photography just isn’t a job, it’s his life. Over the past 15 years he’s captured some of the most iconic moments and players for both the Lighting and Yankees.
“It’s hit or miss, you either get it in focus or you don’t and when it’s in focus it’s like you know you got it and you couldn’t do better,” said LoMoglio. “It’s a privilege to be a sports photographer and be at the games.”
So fittingly, it was his favorite two organizations that were the first to reach out to Mark as he spent 22 days in the hospital.
“Over $20,000 was raised on a GoFundMe started by one of my co-workers with the Yankees that got support from my boss with the Lightning,” said LoMoglio.
On Tuesday, during the Tarpons home opener, Mark got to say thank you in person.
“With the Yankees this is my second home, I’ve grown up here, so all the staff and everybody knows me,” said LoMoglio. “‘The support they showed after getting hit by the car, it’s been family-like, I would have never expected it.”
“Being able to get our season ticket holders and everyone who comes to Tarpons that knows Mark and knows his pictures and sees his stuff online they wanted to support him just as much as our employees did,” said Jessica Venture, with the Tarpons front office.
LoMoglio will be the first to tell you, this season he may only be a fan, but deep down, every pitch, he’s still thinking like a photographer.
“Even on TV I watch games and think, ‘how would I have gotten that shot,’ said LoMoglio.
He plans to begin rehabilitation in June and be back on the field doing what he loves soon after.