For Cam Coursey, baseball is a family matter. Growing up in Sugar Hill, Georgia, Cam spent most of his time outside—either playing baseball or thinking about playing baseball. His dad, Kiley, ran a baseball facility where he spent most of his time practicing and working on his game alongside his
For Cam Coursey, baseball is a family matter. Growing up in Sugar Hill, Georgia, Cam spent most of his time outside—either playing baseball or thinking about playing baseball. His dad, Kiley, ran a baseball facility where he spent most of his time practicing and working on his game alongside his younger brother, Chase.
“I started playing baseball because I wanted to be like my dad,” Cam said. “My first taste of baseball was watching my dad play and my life throughout the game was really through him.”
Cam’s dad had a short stint with the Brewers organization while Cam was growing up but then switched to taking more of a coaching role in his sons’ lives. Kiley ran the baseball facility, coached their high school teams, and helped develop his boys in every aspect of the game.
As kids, Cam and Chase were both eager to learn and developing as players at different paces. Cam reflects on just how much growth he has seen in his brother over the years. Chase, now a catcher at East Georgia College, may even have a shot at getting drafted, Cam said.
Cam roots for his brother from afar now that he is playing pro-ball on the west coast. His family ties run deep, and he misses having his biggest fans 30 minutes away like he was used to when playing at Georgia Gwinnett College.
When talking about home he can’t help but bring up his dad’s famous pulled pork and mac and cheese, but what he really misses the most about being back in Georgia is his two-year-old daughter.
“I thought I loved baseball and I loved my friends...but holding that baby girl puts everything into perspective,” he said. “The hardest part about being away is not seeing my daughter, but it makes coming to the field every day worth it because I’m doing it for somebody, for something bigger than me.”
For Cam, family will always be number one, but while he’s here in Hillsboro he is making baseball his priority.
“The game gives you what you put into it,” Cam shared. “That’s something my dad taught me and that I’ve taken with me throughout my career. If you respect the game, it will respect you.”
As we all know, respect is earned, and in the minor league system it does not come without its full share of ups and downs. From moving across the country to getting adjusted to your new life as a professional ball player, there are constant changes and things being thrown at you. Cam started his professional career in Missoula, Montana with the Diamondbacks affiliate formerly known as the Missoula Osprey.
Cam shared a story of one of his lowest points playing pro-ball.
On one particular game, Cam was the first one to the field to get his pre-game stretches in.
“A little kid comes down to the bottom of the stairs by the dugout and says, ‘Hey, number 11 come here!’” Cam explains.
The fan, holding a ball from batting practice, approached Cam as he made his way from the locker room to the field and asked for an autograph. Knowing very well Cam had been in this fan’s shoes as a kid, he happily signed the ball as they exchanged a few words. The fan was a second base man, just like Cam, and shared that Cam was his favorite player. He even optimistically said to Cam, “You’re going to have a good game tonight.”
Once leaving that interaction Cam had to focus up for the big game for later that evening.
“Long story short…it wasn’t a great game,” Cam shared. Cam ended up going 0-4, leaving 10 or 11 runners stranded and the Osprey lost the game.
“I’m trying not to cry in front of these people. I don’t know if I’ve ever struck out three times in a game in my life at this point,” Cam shared. “I get myself together, pack my stuff up and then I see the kid at the top of hill.”
Cam remembered something his dad instilled in him as he approached the kid who he signed an autograph for earlier. Despite having a bad game, Cam greeted him with a smile.
“This kid looks me dead in the face and says, ‘Hey man, I don’t want this anymore’ and gives me back my autographed ball,” Cam said shaking his head. “When I say I haven’t had a low like that on the baseball field…I’ve never felt like that ever.”
Cam has since moved on from that low feeling, and fortunately for him, it has not been a repeated venture. That story keeps him grounded and has helped him adjust to the failures that so often happen when playing professional baseball.
“I try to approach every at-bat with a clean slate,” Cam said. “When I get really bad is when I start worrying…Be where your feet are and focus on every moment.”