It might come as a surprise to folks that Giants ace Tim "The Freak" Lincecum is the subject of a coffee table book. It's much less surprising than, say, Lincecum's off-season pot bust. But perhaps equally as surprising as the revelation that Lincecum is an aficionado of bow ties.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Deanne Fitzmaurice found out all this and more while tailing Lincecum throughout the season, camera in tow. She estimates she snapped more than 4,000 photos of Lincecum hanging out, playing videogames, walking his dog, or modeling bow ties. She winnowed that down to 80 shots for the aforementioned coffee table tome Freak Season.
Fitzmaurice, a Chronicle mainstay until 2008, first met The Freak before the season on a Sports Illustrated photoshoot. She snapped him in his Sausalito home "playing ping pong in his living room, playing guitar, and hanging out with his dog, Cy." She said Lincecum was such a nice, "gracious" subject that she asked if she could tail him down to spring training and shoot some more. Whatever, dude. And so she did.
Thus began a nine month photo assignment to "capture a bit of his life off the field."
So, what's a typical day in the life of The Freak? "He's actually pretty introverted. And a homebody. A lot of his friendships are people he knew from school up in Washington," she says. "He spends a lot of time at home. He loves to play videogames." Other activities include "hanging out, eating fast food, riding around in his Mercedes" and looking after Cy the French bulldog.
Lincecum's humility, per the book, is the genuine article. In the intro by Joan Ryan, is an anecdote about the pitcher heading to the bank. When the teller notices the team logo on Lincecum's paycheck, she asks him if he works at the ballpark. Yes, he replied. "Oh, that must be fun," she said. Yes, it is, he notes.
While Lincecum's ebullience is well-documented, his behavior on game day is wholly other. He retreats into what he calls "this netherworld" and focuses, solely on the task at hand. "I have this picture in the book during Game 1 of the World Series," says Fitzmaurice. "Juan Uribe just hit the home run that ended up winning the game. And in the frame Buster Posey is just jumping out of his seat; Mark De Rosa is in mid air with his arms up. The third player sitting there watching the ball go out of the park is Tim. And he's completely expressionless."
One last tidbit: Lincecum adopted his odd sartorial style not from Pee-Wee Herman or Tucker Carlson but Bill Neukom, the team's managing general partner. Smart boy, that one. And he learned to tie a bow tie by watching an instructional video on YouTube.
Finally, Lincecum hasn't yet sifted through Freak Season. But he could always put some of that money he earned working at the ballpark toward ordering it here.
All photos | Deanne Fitzmaurice, used with permission
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