Inspirational sports movies have been a thing for decades. From Rocky to Rudy. From Hoosiers to Chariots of Fire. And people LOVE those movies. Rocky is one of the most beloved movies of all-time. But, as good as the movies are, they don't match the real life inspiration some athletes can be.

Just look no further than what took place in Pittsburgh over the weekend. A former Texas League ball player with the Amarillo Sod Poodles who was forced to retire due to injuries, worked his butt off and ended up living his major league dreams. There's a line in the movie Moneyball that says "How can you not be romantic about baseball?". And it's stories like this that are just incredible and make you fall in love with the sport all over again.

Who Is Cam Booser?

On the surface, Cam Booser is just a 31 year old minor league journeyman pitcher who finally made his first big league appearance Saturday night in Pittsburgh. And if you just stopped on the surface, it's a feel good story that would be forgotten in a matter of moments. It could be like Moonlight Graham in Field of Dreams, brushing against your dreams. A feel good story but a bittersweet one that ends in 'what could have been'.

But, just below the surface, is an inspirational story of never giving up on your dreams. Because Cam has had to fight to make his dreams a reality. And man, did he have to fight. This is the stuff Hollywood couldn't script any better if they tried.

Going ALL the way back to Cam's High School years, he had to fight. He was a high draft prospect. A High School MVP in 2009. He was a top prospect for both the major leagues and college teams. But injuries kind of derailed him from his path. He broke his femur his sophomore year in High School. As a senior, he broke a vertebra lifting weights.

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However, despite those injuries, Booser was able to sign with one of the top baseball programs in the country - the Oregon State Beavers. Awesome, right? Well, not so much. He ended up blowing out his elbow and had to have Tommy John surgery. That injury cost him a spot on the Beavers and he ultimately had to transfer to Central Arizona College.

After finishing an up & down college career, he was an undrafted free agent. Ultimately, he ended up signing a minor league deal with the Minnesota Twins. However, much like his High School & College playing career, things did not go to plan. He missed time due to a torn labrum. Then when he was getting back on track, he suffered a broke sacrum (the bone at the base of your spine) in a car crash. Then, as he was trying to make yet another comeback, he was suspended after testing positive for marijuana (something they still tested for back in 2015).

Ultimately, due to the mounting list of injuries, Booser retired from baseball in 2017 and became a carpenter. End of the story, right? Nope. We're just getting started.

Cam Booser's Miraculous Big League Comeback

The video above is the 'end of the story'. But that moment was years in the making. It took sacrifice. It took dedication. It took blood, sweat and tears. It took never giving up on yourself or your dreams. We'll get to all that shortly. But first - how did a guy that was force to retire due to several severe injuries end up living his big league dreams?

He was living in Seattle. Working as a carpenter. But, he was missing baseball. He wanted to be a part of it. So, in 2020, he started giving pitching lessons to kids. During that time, he realized he still had a pretty good fastball and he wasn't hurting as much as he used to. So, being bit by the baseball bug again, he once again resumed his dreams.

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He started pitching independent league baseball for the Chicago Dogs in the American Association of Professional Baseball during the 2021 season. He excelled there and ended up signing a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2022. He ended up pitching for the Amarillo Sod Poodles in AA. But, again, things didn't go as planned and got released from his contract.

He went back to the independent leagues and was throwing for the Lancaster Barnstormers. His performance there got him noticed by the Boston Red Sox. He signed a minor league contract with them and was assigned to the Triple-A Worcester Red Sox.

And finally, things turned around for him. He excelled in Worcester during the 2023 season. In 2024, he got his first Spring Training invite. And ultimately, on April 19th, he was promoted to the major league team for the first time in his life. He wasn't just promoted, but he got to pitch in the game. He took the mound in the 9th inning - tallying one strike out and giving up one run in the Red Sox's 8-1 victory over the Pirates.

Will he stick around the big leagues? Was this his one moment in the sun? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain: Booser is proof that you work hard enough, that if you never give up on your dreams or yourself, that magic doesn't just exist in the movies. It exists in your every day life if you work for it.

And, I ask you again, how can you not be romantic about baseball?

The Best Professional Baseball Players From Louisiana

Louisiana has produced some incredible athletes over the years. In fact, many called the Bayou State a "quarterback factory", but let's not forget just how many amazing MLB baseball players have roots right here. See if your favorite made this list.

Gallery Credit: Gary McCoy

LOOK: MLB history from the year you were born

Stacker compiled key moments from Major League Baseball's history over the past 100 years. Using a variety of sources from Major League Baseball (MLB) record books, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and audio and video from events, we've listed the iconic moments that shaped a sport and a nation. Read through to find out what happened in MLB history the year you were born.

Gallery Credit: Seth Berkman

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