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Former MLB pitcher Cal Eldred shares rare moment with son, C.J.

Published: Oct. 25, 2020 at 11:32 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - For as long as he can remember, Mount Vernon native C.J. Eldred has always been around the game of baseball. It certainly helps when your dad is Cal Eldred, who pitched for 14 seasons in the major leagues.

“I didn’t take it for granted by any means, but I didn’t know any better when I was younger,” said C.J. “Growing up in a clubhouse around guys like Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Jimmy Edmonds, that was a normal day.”

C.J. is currently pitching in the Kansas City Royals minor league system. His dad, Cal, just finished his third season as the Royals pitching coach. They’re both employed by the same organization, but they don’t see each other very often, even during spring training.

“We’re in the same building, we use the same weight room, but the clubhouses are different,” said Cal. “They go in one direction and we go another -- the big leaguers and the minor leaguers.”

That’s under any normal year, but 2020 has been far from that. Back in March when the pandemic shut down spring training and MLB was working on plans for a season, it gave Cal and C.J. a chance to work one-on-one. They eventually returned to Iowa and spent the next three months doing drills at Dugout Sports in Fairfax.

“I hadn’t gotten to see him pitch in almost a year,” said Cal. “But just like all the other guys you work with, it’s up to the player and it was up to C.J. to be committed to do this; and he was.”

“He knows me the best out of anybody,” said C.J. “He’s seen almost every throw that’s come out of my arm. It’s been very beneficial and I knew right from the get go if he was sent back here, I wanted to take full advantage of it, and I feel like I did.”

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