Q&A with sittingstill

So who are you, anyway?

My name is Kelly O'Connor. I'm 39, trying valiantly to stare down 40. I work at Boston University (in an office a stone's throw from Fenway if you have a good arm) and live in a nearby suburb.

Why do you call yourself sittingstill?

It's a long story that I'll try to make short. "Sitting Still" is the name of a song on REM's debut album Murmur. It has a very defiant, ringing guitar that for me epitomized the spirit I needed to show at a very tumultuous and life-changing period of my life--which also happened to be when I signed up for a Hotmail account. I chose sittingstill and I've hung onto it ever since. Two things that it brings to mind for me are an admonition against "wasting time, sitting still" and the song's conclusion, after an almost unintelligible series of verses: "I can hear you--can you hear me?"

How did you start sittingstill.net? Have you always been a photographer?

Actually, no. The site actually grew out of a very silly poll on the Remy Report boards asking which player was favored by the many good baseball fans there who happened to be female. In the resulting rush to find photos to justify various choices, I found that very few photographers captured players in the ways I wanted to see them: not just the fastball, the big swing or the diving catch, but showing their quirks and idiocyncrasies, looking back at the umpire, goofing off in the bullpen, watching from the on-deck circle. I had a digital camera with a pretty nice zoom, and I started taking pictures with it. I also realized right around that time that I didn't mind going to games alone, which meant I went to a lot more games! The more I shot, the closer I came to what I wanted to see. And not incidentally, the better and better cameras I started to get!

You seem to have a thing for Mark Bellhorn.

That's not a question.

What's the deal with Bellhorn?

He was, of course, my original poll choice, so my earliest efforts in photography can be characterized as trying to get a cute picture of him. As a player, he's the underdog everyone pulls for. He's the quiet guy who always does his job as best he can and never makes a fuss about it. A gentleman, a loyal teammate.

Haven't I seen you on TV?

If you were watching Channel 7 news October 20, 2004, you did. If you missed it, you can see me here. Note that I managed to fulfill a lifelong ambition: to appear on TV labeled "Superstitious Sox Fan." (Also note that having Channel 7 call me at work to ask me to go home so they could send a news crew to film me and Wally was one of the most surreal things I've ever had happen to me. Particularly since after 6 games of the ALCS, when they asked me to spell my name on the tape, I nearly couldn't.) And in 2008, I made the rounds of Channel 5, Channel 4 and NECN; Steve the Ferret got his nose in on NECN, too.

Are you really that superstitious?

No. (Note: check back. Answer may change based on Red Sox record.)

Whose pages do you sponsor on Baseball Reference?

Those would be Jonathan Papelbon, Craig Hansen, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kyle Snyder, Craig Breslow, Dave Pauley... and Bellhorn.

What else drives you besides the Red Sox?

Horses (horse racing and sculpture collecting) and music.

Got any suggestions of records I should buy?

The Weakerthans' Reconstruction Site, for starters.

Favorite racehorse?

Can't pick one. Affirmed was my first love. Personal Ensign, long before the 2004 Sox, taught the lesson that the race isn't over until you hit the wire. Arazi had the most incredible move I've ever seen in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile, like a Porsche pulling out of a pack of golf carts. And I can make myself cry in about twelve words: "Secretariat appears to be widening! He is moving like a tremendous machine!"

Any pets?

One cat and one space alien.

One space alien?


He's not a cat?

No. I have proof.