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Red Sox Reliever Makes MLB Debut Years After Quitting Baseball

Cam Booser thought he was done with baseball seven years ago. On Friday, he made his MLB debut for the Boston Red Sox. 

Booser walked away from the game in 2017 after injuries, and a 50-game drug suspension held him back. After never making it past Single-A, Booser returned home to Seattle and began working as a carpenter with his dad. Missing baseball, the left-hander began giving pitching lessons in 2020 and started throwing 96-mph fastballs three years after his retirement.

By 2021, Cam Booser was back on the mound and throwing pain-free. “I realized there was no pain,” Booser said. “We can still throw in the upper 90s. That’s when I thought I would give it a shot.” He came out of retirement and began pitching in the independent leagues in 2021. Booser topped 101 mph in his professional debut with the Chicago Dogs, pitching to a 1.93 ERA over 23.1 innings.

Reliever Cam Booser Made His MLB Debut in Red Sox Win



His strong performance was noticed by the Arizona Diamondbacks, who signed him to a minor league deal nearly a year after coming out of retirement. He pitched half a season with Double-A Amarillo before being released in July 2022. He finished the season with the Lancaster Barnstormers, another independent league team, before signing with the Red Sox last year. Cam Booser finally made it to the big leagues after pitching to a 2.70 ERA in high-leverage opportunities in Triple-A.

A lifelong Red Sox fan, Cam Booser made his MLB debut with Boston seven years after walking away from baseball. Booser, now 31, became the oldest Red Sox player (excluding those who played in Japan) to make their MLB debut since 32-year-old Tommy Fine. Booser made his debut coming out of the bullpen for the Red Sox on Friday. He worked around a first-pitch triple in a one-run ninth inning and struck out future Hall of Famer Andrew McCutchen for his first career strikeout.

“It was the most adrenaline I’ve ever experienced, but it was great. It was all excitement,” Booser said after the game. Red Sox manager Alex Cora believes Booser has become more than a left-on-left specialist. Even if Booser can’t maintain his “crazy” strikeout rate in the majors, Cora expects “big things” from Cam in Boston.

“To make it to the big leagues, there’s different ways, right, different journeys,” Cora said. “And his is a lot different than a lot of people.”

Main Photo Credits: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


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