By Dennis Garcia
ASHEBORO - There have been very few players who have represented the Asheboro Copperheads for three full seasons.
Trent Goree, a two-time all-star who played in the early 2000s, and Hunter Ridge, a Southwestern Randolph High School graduate who became one of the top Copperheads performers of all time, were two of those players.
Cam Reid will be another.
There's something to be said about staying close to home and Reid has climbed the baseball ladder while staying close to his Asheboro residence.
"It's definitely been a dream come true," Reid said of his baseball career. "When I was growing up, I saw a lot of Senior Legion games and watched players like Neal Pritchard and Ryne Rush. And for the Copperheads it was Connor Owings. I wanted to be like those guys. I've been blessed to be able to have the opportunity to keep on playing close to home."
Reid, a 2016 graduate of Asheboro High School, was an integral part of not only the Blue Comets' success during his high school career, but the success of the Randolph County Post 45 American Legion team, which qualified for its first World Series in program history in 2017.
He elected to play collegiately at Pfeiffer University, located about 45 minutes south of Asheboro, and for the past two summers has played for the Asheboro Copperheads in the Coastal Plain League.
That's a lot of baseball while still being able to sleep in his own bed and have his family very near..
"It was really cool to have my dad coach me in Junior Legion and he grew up in Asheboro and I wanted to continue that legacy," Reid said. "It's also been nice because my family goes to most of my home games. It's really nice to look around and have family there."
Reid has spent the past two summers as one of the top arms in the Copperheads' bullpen. In 2018, Reid led the Copperheads in appearances with 22. He hurled 30.1 innings, giving up just 28 hits, striking out 25 while yielding 11 walks. He finished 4-2 with one save and led the team in ERA at 1.78.
Reid once again led the team in appearances in 2019 with 20. He posted 34.1 innings pitched while collecting 22 strikeouts. He had an overall record of 1-1 and earned two saves.
"I have nothing but positive things to say about Cam as a baseball player and as a person," Copperheads head coach and general manager Keith Ritsche said. "He comes from a great family and is a hard working reliable young man. Not only has he been an integral part of the Copperheads' bullpen over the last two years, he has helped us with several volunteer efforts in the off season. He's had a great career at Pfeiffer and we look forward to Cam continuing his legacy with the Copperheads again this summer. He got us out of some big jams and we were able to win several games late due to his efforts the past few years. He has a lot of deception in his throwing motion and can locate really well."
There have been a number of players who have played parts of three seasons with the Copperheads, players like John Tuttle, Warren Slack and Brandon Warren, but
o nly a few have played three full seasons.
"I have got to put this ball cap on and wear it around the city," Reid said. "I wear it around the city and try to make them proud. Working out at the YMCA or walking downtown, I'm proud to wear that ball cap."
Reid has had quite a career at Pfeiffer. In three-plus seasons, he has recorded 80 appearances, second only to SWR graduate Hunter Jobe's 106. He has a 9-4 record out of the bullpen, including six saves. He has collected 80 strikeouts to just 38 walks in 112.1 innings pitched.
He was having one of his best seasons on the mound for the Falcons this year, appearing in eight games with a 2.70 ERA while collecting eight strikeouts without walking a batter.
"There were a few other Randolph County players at Pheiffer and it's where I felt I fit in," said Reid.
Like most, Reid used the conventional overhand delivery until his sophomore year in high school when AHS coach Tim Murray switched him to a sidearm delivery.
"I thought I was pretty effective over the top," Reid said. "It was pretty fluent the first couple of times I tried (sidearm), but I hadn't developed a second pitch. The fastball had the movement, but going to the varsity level and playing summer baseball, I knew I needed a second pitch."
That pitch started out as a knuckle slurve which developed into Reid's nasty slider.
"This year was the best I felt physically and mentally," Reid said of the collegiate campaign that was cut short and his decision to return to the Falcons for another season. "The decision to come back wasn't tough. I reached out to some of my coaches and talked to my family a lot. My family said to live out the dream as long as you can because once the real world starts, it's not going to stop."
Until then, Reid will continue living the dream.