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Red Sox call up 31-year-old rookie Cam Booser to join bullpen

Is there any hope for the woeful Red Sox defense? And can they right the ship at Fenway Park?
Is there any hope for the woeful Red Sox defense? And can they right the ship at Fenway Park? 12:06

BOSTON  -- The Red Sox are in need of a feel-good story, and they'll provide the entire baseball world with one Friday night. Boston has called up reliever Cam Booser, who will get his first taste of the majors at the age of 31.

The lefty reliever was selected to the Boston roster from Triple-A Worcester on Friday ahead of the team's three-game set with the Pirates in Pittsburgh. He takes the roster spot of fellow southpaw Joe Jacques, who was optioned to Worcester on Thursday.

It has been quite the journey to get to this point for Booser, who just a few years ago had given up on his dream of pitching in the big leagues.

The hurdles started early for Booser, as he had two major injuries in high school; first in his sophomore year when he broke his femur playing football and then as a senior when he broke a vertebrae while lifting weights. He then had to undergo Tommy John surgery during his freshman year at Oregon State, and ended up pitching just 11 innings of Division-1 baseball.

But Booser could still throw in the mid-90s, so the Minnesota Twins took a flyer on him as an undrafted free-agent signing in 2013. Unfortunately for Booser, two years into his pro career he was back under the knife for a torn labrum. 

The bumps only continued for the southpaw. A few months after his surgery in 2015, he was hit by a car while riding his bike, which resulted in a broken bone in his back. In 2017, he was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for marijuana. At the end of that season, through a combination of dealing with injuries and the suspension, Booser was dejected and felt that his playing days were over.

He spent the next four years back home in Seattle where he worked as a carpenter. But in 2021, Booser started to throw a baseball again while coaching kids, and realized that he still had some nice pop on his fastball. That eventually led him back to the mound, and he signed with the Chicago Dogs of the American Association. 

Booser had a 1.93 ERA over 21 games with the Dogs, which was good enough to get a minor league deal from the Diamondbacks in 2022. He signed with the Red Sox organization in 2023, and proceeded to strike out 66 batters over 57.2 innings, making 48 appearances for the WooSox.

Control has always been an issue for Booser, and he walked 24 batters in Worcester last season. But so far this season, he's issued just one free pass to his 15 strikeouts in just 6.2 innings, and he's been flirting with the high-90s on the radar gun.

It may have taken a long and bumpy road to get here, but Booser will finally get to show Major League Baseball what he's got with Boston. The 31-year-old rookie will give the Sox another lefty in the bullpen, a feel-good story in the clubhouse, and hopefully some solid innings as he finally fulfills his lifelong dream.

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