How this 31-year-old former carpenter overcame injuries to finally make his MLB debut for Boston Red Sox

Originally Published: 20 APR 24 09:08 ET

(CNN) — Even after Cam Booser walked away from baseball in 2017 and became a carpenter following a series of injuries and setbacks, he would think about the game every single day.

The 31-year-old relief pitcher has endured a “long journey” to make his MLB debut, he told the league’s website on Friday after he was called up by the Boston Red Sox, becoming the franchise’s oldest player to make his Majors debut in the US since 1947.

A series of injuries had derailed the Booser’s career almost from the very start, beginning with a broken femur from playing football and a broken vertebra from lifting weights in high school. Then, in his freshman year at Oregon State, he underwent a Tommy John surgery, wiping out his college career as he pitched only 11 innings of Division 1 baseball, according to CNN affiliate WBZ.

The Minnesota Twins still signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2013 but disaster struck two years later when he was hit by a car and broke his back while recovering from surgery for a torn labrum.

In 2015, he was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for marijuana, according to, and after the 2017 season stepped back from baseball.

But after four years of working as a carpenter, Booser began coaching youth baseball, fell back in love with the game and started throwing again, realizing he could throw high 90s without feeling pain.

“I didn’t think about ever actually making a comeback until I started working with them,” Booser said, per the MLB. “It was just the more I was around the game, the more I couldn’t not be around it. It was like it just pulled me back in.”

That summer, the Chicago Dogs of the American Association signed him, and he soon caught the eye of other teams too, eventually getting the call up to the Red Sox.

So, when Booser took to the field on Friday for the Red Sox with his family in the stands, he took a moment to collect himself before heading to the mound where he pitched the ninth inning, tallying one strikeout while allowing one earned run in his team’s 8-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Afterwards, he sat alone on a bench overcome by emotion as his teammates walked past to pat him on the back.

“It’s by far the best moment of my career,” he told reporters. “Something I’ll always remember.”

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