Chances are strong that most fans have seen Walt Srocki every night they’ve been to PNC Park. The name may not be known by all, but the face certainly is.
For 28 seasons, Srocki has been a fixture at the ballpark. He is recognized as the man who wears a No. 0 “Camera Guy” jersey at every game. He had his own shirt made, as well as a trading card, which may be used as a Topps insert next season.
Outside of camera work, Srocki has a passion for art, particularly painting, mainly influenced by his father who attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, something he did as well. It all started in 1987.
“I have a friend Marty Corbett that worked in the control room and he looked through the files a couple of years earlier and was surprised they didn’t have any art work,” Srocki said. “I had an art background, so that’s how I got in.”
Many fans had the opportunity to see his art when he painted player portraits on the jumbo tron. His biggest artistic challenge involved the making of 40 bobbleheads in 26 days, something Srocki said did not involve much sleep.
The players appreciate his work and passion. Earlier this year, Gerrit Cole, asked if Srocki would make a painting for his mom for Mother’s Day.
The camera work began when a position opened in the mid-1990’s. After doing animations prior to that, he was working with the camera crew, pulling cable. Once PNC Park opened, Srocki became the main camera man.
Srocki travels to Spring Training for a couple of weeks each year and begins to build relationships with all of the players there.
His relationship with the team was shown when Rick White joined the Pirates in 2005. He wanted the number 0, but was told to steer clear. White had to settle on 00.
“The players told him, ‘No, that’s camera guy’s number,'” recalled Srocki. “That’s kind of cool.”
Srocki also works at Heinz Field with both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers and serves as a camera man under a hoop at the Petersen Events Center. Srocki also previously worked with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
From 2003-10 Srocki, was known for hitting a Homer Simpson doll against his camera every time the Pirates hit a home run.
“One day there was a home run and I had a Homer at home, so I just put it in front of the camera and started doing crazy stuff,” Srocki said.
Srocki performs his job with a dedicated group of people that he calls a family. He thinks it’s crazy that some of the young workers have grown up before his eyes.
With Srocki walking three miles with his camera every game, his effort is appreciated by several season ticket holders. It is not out of the ordinary for him to receive gifts such as cake, cookies and Easter baskets.
At the end of the day, Srocki always has a smile on his face because ultimately he is a fan and no two days are the same.
“I’ve got tell you, even though it’s just the camera guy jersey and it’s a zero, it’s very prideful and I’m very happy about that,” said Srocki.
Photo credit: Dave Arrigo/Pirates