A Turks’ Father-Son Feature: Cam and Daryl Irvine

By Jen Kulju
Turks Staff Writer

Cam Irvine is following in his father’s footsteps. Pitcher Daryl Irvine played baseball for Spotswood High School in Penn Laird, Virginia, and played with the Harrisonburg Turks in 1984 while attending Ferrum College. Cam graduated from Spotswood having played varsity baseball all four years, and is currently playing with the Turks while attending Virginia Tech. Cam played shortstop in high school, right field in his first season with Tech, and is primarily playing left field with the Turks. Cam admits that moving from shortstop to the outfield was a transition, but says no matter where he plays, he tries “to get the job done” to the best of his ability.

Daryl was drafted by Major League Baseball (MLB) three times, and signed with the Boston Red Sox in 1985. Daryl credits the Valley Baseball League (VBL) and his time playing for the Turks with teaching him how to be a pitcher instead of a thrower, an adjustment needed to face the talent he was pitching against. “I’m glad Cam is getting a chance to be a part of ‘great baseball’ in the VBL, and I think it will benefit him when he goes back to school in the fall.”

Cam started playing baseball when he was “three or four years’ old,” or for as long as he can remember. His dad coached him through the years, from tee-ball to Farm League to Little League to a little bit in high school. Both relish their many baseball memories, including their time spent together at the batting cages. “I always tried to teach him the mechanical parts of the game,” recalls Daryl. Cam says he learned “a little bit of everything” from his dad, from throwing to hitting to fielding.

In addition to the fundamentals, “I always taught Cam to outwork everyone, to not take anything for granted, and to be a good teammate.” Cam says his dad “drilled into his mind that baseball requires a short-term memory.” “If you make an error or strike out, you have to forget about it and move on to the next play.”

Cam hopes to continue to follow in his father’s footsteps and make it to MLB, but knows he will have to outwork everyone around him—to do what everyone else isn’t willing to do to get there. “Cam has done a great job of working hard. I’m very proud of him,” declares Daryl. “I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without my dad—his endless batting practice, coaching, and hitting me ground balls,” says Cam. “It has added up over the years, and really helped me.”