By: Will Burchfield
Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris came across photographer Ben Moon on Instagram.
He decided to reach out to him. The two got to talking. Then, in the 2015 MLB offseason, they took a cross-country road trip in Norris’ run-down Volkswagen van, becoming close friends along the way.
That’s the short story. For a longer version, take a look at the video above.
“An adventure photographer and a pro athlete – I didn’t think we’d have much in common,” Moon says. “But I realized we had a lot more in common than we expected.”
A passion for photography. A love for the outdoors. Most profoundly, a life-altering experience with a deadly disease.
“The kinship of going through something like that, you just have a different level of respect for the time that you have,” says Moon.
In the video, Moon talks about Norris’ skill with the camera. Norris explains he particularly enjoys photographing people.
“There’s so many memories that can go along with a photo and I think that’s what incredible about portraiture,” he says. “Theres a huge story to be told.”
Their cross-country journey wasn’t without its mishaps. At one point, it came to a complete halt because Norris’ van broke down.
Neither of them seemed to mind.
“Nothing really went to plan, but you just kind of learned to slow down,” Moon says.
“Going through the ups and downs of driving coast to coast in an old beat-up van and breaking down and going through all that, it’s really cool to have a friendship built off of the outdoors and a passion about other people,” says Norris.
A friendship, Moon explains, that was more like a brotherhood.
“By the end of the trip, I felt like we were almost family. We definitely were starting to look like twins: the bearded brothers,” he recalls.
Check out the video above for more.