Milwaukee Talks: Kameron Loe
Yes, Kameron Loe is big.
Yes, he has been a very effective reliever for the Milwaukee Brewers the last two years, helping the team advance to the National League Championship Series last fall.
The 30-year-old right-hander has a lot more going on than just a devastating sinker, however. He can build a remote controlled airplane with the best of them, and can apply a sticker to a suitcase with aplomb. And that's just for starters.
OnMilwaukee.com caught up with the reliever to talk about some of his other interests in this edition of Milwaukee Talks.
OnMilwaukee.com: You were 6-7 in high school, and your grandfather Howard Pound was an All-American basketball player at Michigan State. Were you hounded to play hoops at Granada Hills High School (in California's San Fernando Valley)?
Kameron Loe: Oh, they hated me. They hated me. The basketball coach and the basketball players always gave me crap. I was the tallest kid in school since I was a sophomore in high school. I don't know – I just didn't want to play. I grew up in Southern Cali and baseball is year round. When the high school season wasn't going on I was playing legion ball or summer league or whatever, traveling all over the place playing ball. That's just what I wanted.
OMC: With your size and genes, you had to have been a natural athlete back then, right?
KL: No, man, I was a goofy kid. I was uncoordinated. Part of the reason why I disliked basketball and I wasn't that good at it. I just couldn't dribble with my left hand. I'm extremely right side dominant and I wasn't that quick. I had to work really hard to get to where I'm at. But I could always strikes. I've always been a strike-thrower. Coaches have always liked that in me – I go the ball over the plate and I had a sinker, so I got a lot of ground balls. It's been a big learning process to control the ball whenever I feel like, to control where I want to throw it, but growing up I was able to throw it over the plate.
OMC: Were your parents athletes, too?
KL: No. I grew up in a family of musicians. My grandfather was an athlete, he played basketball and football in college at Michigan State and was an All-American. So the genes are there, but on my dad is a musician and my mom's a musician also, so we enjoyed baseball and sports, but it wasn't like a big thing in my house. But they always put me in it because they knew I loved it and it was good for me. I was tall and skinny. I was 6-7, 185 coming out of high school, so I was a rail. I definitely had to work really hard to put weight on. I'm at 240 now. I was same height but about 50 pounds lighter.
OMC: So, then you have to have some musical ability as well then, right?
KL: You know what, I love music, I listen to it all the time, I love concerts and have some musician friends, but I am not that musical. I can hold a steady beat on the drums, but that's about it.
OMC: That's interesting. People must assume that you were just naturally gifted, but it sounds like you've had to put in a lot of work to get to the major leagues.
KL: Yeah. When you love something it's not, I guess, "work." Obviously it is hard work and I've put my body through a lot of pain, but you love to do it and when you love to do it, it's more time consuming than work. With anything you love and you do with your full heart it's going to take sacrifice.
OMC: Along those lines, it seems like there are a lot of guys in the major leagues that don't have to work as hard – that their talent is just so great they can kind of coast.
KL: I can't tell you how many guys that are up here in the big leagues that don't have as good as stuff as guys they played with in the minor leagues coming up. And those guys didn't make it and these guys did and there's something to be said about that. Whether it's a smartness for the game or being a student of the game and learning and what it takes for you to succeed at this level. Everybody's got their own things they're good at and you have to work on getting that better but at the same time work on your weaknesses that might hold you back. It's the highest level in the world and you're not going to stay here very long if you don't try to learn and try to get better every day.
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