Cool, calm closer has place in record books
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Updated: Monday, April 25, 2011 21:04
Skyhawk senior pitcher Chadwick Cameron has the size. He has the arm strength. He also has the confidence and experience needed to be successful at the college level. What Cameron has that separates him from most baseball players is his calm demeanor and expressionless approach to his daily duties. That is what has made him tie the career saves record at UTM and has made him the perfect role model for his teammates and younger players. Despite taking a loss this weekend in the OVC conference-opening series vs. Southeast Missouri State, Cameron knows more opportunities will arise for him to do his job.
In any pressure-filled situation, emotion and weakness need to be suppressed in order to remain calm to perform at the highest level. Emotion also needs to be controlled after failure. That is a lot easier said than done.
Baseball players are naturally taken with displaying emotion when they fail, seemingly hoping to show the entire world that mistakes are unacceptable and that the game means that much. Whether it is hurling a bat, slamming a glove, or kicking every possible inanimate object seen in the dugout, baseball players unleash anger very openly and without consideration of consequence. Chadwick Cameron does not need to act in such a manner when he fails. He accepts the situation for what it is and uses it as motivation to be better the next time. His confident swagger never diminishes. That is the makeup of a perfect closer.
"I love being a closer," said Cameron. "I get to relax and enjoy the game until the ninth inning when it's my time to dominate."
Cameron is currently tied with Frank Perez as UTM's all-time saves leader with eight. Perez played for UTM 20 years ago, proving that saves are a hard commodity in the game of Division I baseball that is increasingly more offensive oriented. Cameron earned his second and record-tying save of the young 2007 season in a 4-1 Skyhawk win over Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).
The most dominant closers in Major League Baseball are known for that one particular out-pitch that seems unhittable. Whether it is Trevor Hoffman's changeup or Francisco Rodriguez's slider, a closer has a favorite pitch to get hitters out with. "Right now it is my split-finger fastball," Cameron said when asked what the best pitch in his repertoire is.
Cameron, a Toronto, Ontario native, came to UTM via Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College along with three current Skyhawk teammates. Seniors Chad Green, Jason Hockaday, and Ryan Rockholt began their college careers with Cameron and all have formed a tight bond over four seasons.
When asked if he is the best closer in the conference, Cameron said, "No doubt. There isn't anyone in the OVC that can close out a game like me."
Whether he is the best or not, he certainly displays the best emotion.