During her undergraduate days at Syracuse, SI picture editor Maureen Grise often went to Orangemen basketball games with the following items: construction paper (five different colors), Magic Markers, scissors, string and, of course, her beloved Nikon 8008. "Even though I was a staff photographer at The Daily Orange," says Grise, 24, "I didn't always get a photo pass. So right on the spot I'd make my own. Sometimes you have to be creative to get the pictures you want."
Since we hired her in the spring of 1993, Grise, who oversees all of our baseball photography, has demonstrated that ability time and again. Take this week's issue. The 10-page picture essay that begins on page 62 is composed of unused slides of this season's action that Grise refused to leave orphaned. "These are wonderful shots that never made our pages because they were not germane to a particular story," says Grise. "So I created two files for them, entitled Pictures of the Year and Really Cool Stuff."
Grise has a knack for turning her assignments into really cool stuff. For our baseball preview issue in the spring, she persuaded the Baltimore Orioles to paint one wall of their spring training clubhouse robin's-egg blue to, Grise says, "match the color of Cal Ripken's eyes." The result was our May 1 cover.
Sent to the 1995 All-Star Game ostensibly on a busman's holiday, Grise spent the game going door-to-door among the luxury boxes at The Ballpark in Arlington. "I was scouting new photo angles that we could use in case the Rangers made the playoffs," says Grise. And when Mickey Mantle died in August, Grise stayed overnight in our offices looking at more than a thousand pictures of the Mick in search of the definitive cover shot.
"Mantle never took a bad picture, but for the cover we wanted one that very few people had ever seen," says Grise, known to her colleagues as Moe. "When I first saw the picture that became our [Aug. 21] cover, I immediately knew it was the one."
The eldest of four children, Grise has known that photojournalism was her calling since the age of 10. It was then that she and two friends founded The Northwood Times, a 25-cent monthly chronicling the events of Northwood Lane, the street on which Grise grew up in Stamford, Conn. "It was an underground paper," says Grise. "We printed it in the basement."
Now that she's working at a weekly with a somewhat larger circulation, she spends long hours editing slides (more than 10,000 weekly) and securing photo credentials—so that our photographers don't have to carry construction paper with them. In the little spare time that she has, Grise is a first-year student in Columbia University's master's in journalism program.
"Moe's always asking me about how I shoot games—why'd I take this shot, why'd I use this film speed," says photographer V.J. Lovero. "Always interested in learning. She's the Tony Gwynn of picture editing."
"Actually Maureen's more like Ripken," says senior editor Mike Bevans, who oversees our baseball coverage. "Good-natured, driven and dependable. I hope she doesn't take a day off for the next 13 years."