The way it usually works in publishing is that the author takes care of the inside photographs or illustrations and the publisher is on the hook for the cover.
For High Heat, we decided upon an eight-page photo insert, along with full page photos for each of the sections. The later include Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, David Price and Steve Dalkowski.
In assembling the eight-page insert, I put the word out to several of my best friends, who also happen to be great photographers. One who really stepped up was Jose Luis Villegas.
We had worked together on Far From Home, the coffee-table book about Latinos in baseball (National Geographic, 2008). Frankly, I wasn't looking to do another Latino-themed book after Castro's Curveball and The New Face of Baseball. But once I saw Jose Luis' images, I had to be on board.
When I contacted Jose Luis about any possible images for High Heat, he mentioned a vintage shot he had somewhere of Nolan Ryan.
"Let me see if I can find it," Jose Luis said.
A few weeks later, the image to the right arrived. It's from Ryan's sixth no-hitter, against the Oakland A's. It's one of 24 photographs in High Heat.