Robinson Alumni: MLB Pitcher Shawn Camp

Ben Eisen, Editorials editor


On May 11, 2013, Shawn Camp walked up the pitching mound for the Chicago Cubs against the Washington Nationals in Nationals Park.    At the time, he was only 22 miles from the school he had graduated from in 1994. In an article for the Chicago Tribune, Camp said he expected a large following of friends and family at the game.  “Some of them I haven’t seen in 15 years,” he told the Tribune.

Shawn Camp made his major league debut in 2006, when he became the third graduate of this school to play major league baseball (a fourth, Paul Clemens, made his major league debut earlier in the 2013 season).  A few weeks after Camp’s appearance on May 11, in a three game series in San Francisco, another graduate, Javier Lopez, pitched in every game against the Nationals, striking out four and giving up just two base runners in 2.1 innings.

The school has had a very long and illustrious history in athletics.  The school holds state titles in many of the sports it competes in.  And in many of those sports, the school has had graduates play in college or turn pro, such as Camp or Lopez.

In most cases, coaches help those who hope to play a sport after high school.  They encourage the student-athlete to continue with their chosen sport: whether it’s to college, like some graduating seniors, or to the pros like Shawn Camp.

“The coaches really focus on what we need to get better on,” freshman and JV soccer player Lucas Puranen said.

Focusing on what needs to get better in a student-athletes game is only one way many coaches prepare their players for after high school.  For student-athletes, the coaches give them the much needed push they need.

“The coaches really push us and we respond well,” said freshmen and rower Connor Field.

While coaches help, many student-athletes receive help from outside sources.  For Shawn Camp, this was longtime Detroit Tigers scout Bill Buck.  In an article for The Patch, Camp shared gratitude towards Buck, “He was such a good guy. He just made it seem right.”

So while coaches are great for pushing student-athletes at school forward, many student-athletes need one little extra push.  With Shawn Camp, it was Bill Buck, but for many current student-athletes, it can be their family or friends.