MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Even while growing up in a hockey family in Pittsburgh and being named after a Boston Bruins player it was always baseball or bust for Pelicans infielder Cam Balego.
“I am living the dream of a five-year-old kid that would trade places in a heart beat so that definitely puts a smile on your face,” Cam said. “It was sign up day and I came home and my dad said, I asked my dad if I could go play baseball with my friends and that is all she wrote really from there.”
Balego started his pro career in 2017 after being drafted by the Cubs in the 30th round of the MLB draft out of division two Mercyhurst College.
“Growing up you always have the vision of playing division one baseball and then hopefully getting drafted. Unfortunately that wasn’t my route. I kind of use that as a chip on my shoulder daily kind of being overlooked more or less. So I kind of use that as my chip and then I also like it when I talk to kids or I talk to people and they ask me about my journey I tell them to just shoot for the moon and land on the stars because nothing is too big and if your dreams aren’t big enough and people aren’t laughing at you , you need to dream a little bit bigger.”
That fire and chip has propelled Balego from the rookie league in Arizona to South Bend to Eugene and finally to Myrtle Beach where he has turned himself into a power hitter with eight home runs and 30 RBI’s good for second on the team. He has also played several positions for the Birds jumping between first and third mostly and has even been looked at as a catcher.
“My thing is winning that is what means the most to me so whatever is going to give my team the best chance to win is what I am willing to do. You know never being a catcher it is definitely a struggle to say the least but you know I have my coach that played 15 years and got a little big league time with Lerud. But yeah whatever is going to let my team win the game I am willing to do. So I take it like that, it isn’t always going to be easiest but I am willing to do what I have to do.”
Cam is the energy of the team and the player everyone looks to when they need a pick me up. Whether it’s the shaved USA chest for the fourth of July or being in charge of the pregame handshakes in the dugout.
“I am the energetic guy that is dancing in the dugout and making a fool out of myself, I have no problem with that you know I try to keep the mood always light in the dugout dancing or smiling.”
While you can always count on a laugh and a good time with Cam he knows when to turn it on and shift his focus to the job at hand and focus on his future which he hopes will end up in Wrigley field.
“We are in a vacation spot so obviously it can be a little dangerous but you have to realize what you are trying to accomplish which is getting to the major leagues so keep your feet on the field and have the strong mental side.”