Bradley soaking up every moment

D-backs pitcher's Polaroid instantly chronicles his big league career

Bradley soaking up every moment

PHOENIX -- As he makes his way around the National League this summer, D-backs right-hander Archie Bradley has had a constant companion at his side -- a Polaroid camera.

Bradley has snapped photos on the field with friends who have come to visit him, of the ballparks he's gotten to pitch in and some of the broadcasters he was familiar with while growing up in Broken Arrow, Okla.

"Honestly, not to sound cheesy, but I really don't take for granted this position that I'm in," Bradley said. "Every stadium I'm in, every place we go, every BP we take, I mean thousands and thousands of people pay money to watch us. I really am just kind of enamored and caught up in what I'm allowed to do every day."

On a recent D-backs road trip, which included stops in Milwaukee and Los Angeles, Bradley met and had his picture taken with Brewers radio play-by-play legend Bob Uecker as well as the retiring Vin Scully.

Bradley was raised to address people older than him as Mr. or Miss, but neither Uecker or Scully were having any of that and insisted he call them by their first names.

They also caught Bradley off guard by knowing who he was.

"What they've done for the game, the history and the respect people around the game have for both of them," Bradley said. "To think they knew about me, it was really unbelievable."

With the Polaroid providing an instant picture, Bradley was able to have both broadcasters sign the photos.

Bradley has all the pictures he's taken taped to a mirror in his Phoenix-area home with notes written underneath him. It provides him with a photo journal of his baseball journey.

"With an iPhone, you can just snap a picture and it saves to your phone. But with a Polaroid, it's better, because I like to take a Polaroid and just write a little note down like, 'Met Vin Scully today and talked to him about this.' That way, after the season I can go back and look at it, and it's kind of my way to remember stuff and keep track of everything. Just taking advantage of the opportunity that I have."

Bradley, 23, was the seventh overall pick in the 2011 Draft and chose to sign with the D-backs instead of attending the University of Oklahoma on a football scholarship. He would have competed for the starting quarterback spot.

After making the team out of Spring Training in 2015, Bradley learned just how temporary success can be at the big league level. He was outstanding in his first three starts before being struck in the face by a line drive, and he was not able to have the same level of success the rest of that season.

"I could blow out tomorrow, so I just want to take advantage of every day I'm here," Bradley said.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.