SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Family members of Padres pitcher Daniel Camarena are reflecting on a magical moment, one day after the Bonita native hit an improbable grand slam.
As the rookie pitcher stepped up to bat against former Cy Young award winner Matt Scherzer, one of the best pitchers in baseball, even the dozens of his family and friends in the stands were realistic, including his mom, Consuelo, and brother, Louie.
“Put it in play, that's what we're looking for,” said Consuelo.
“I was recording it and wondering why I’m even recording it. Hoping for contact,” said Louie.
Moments later, down two strikes, Camarena slammed a home run into the right-field seats.
“It's euphoria. I've never in all my life, felt that level of adrenaline. Even today, there was something still magical about it all,” said Louie.
“I was screaming. I was just in awe,” said Consuelo.
The journey to that epic moment began early. Camarena grew up playing baseball, then starred at Cathedral Catholic High. His coach Gary Memiker says he was a superb pitcher and hitter.
“He could hit home runs and get hits in the gap … He was coachable, worked his butt off, it paid off for him,” said Meniker.
Drafted by the Yankees, Camarena toiled in the minor leagues for about a decade before making his rookie debut at age 28 for his hometown team.
“Just so, so special,” said Consuelo.
In his second major league game, he conjured up an improbable at-bat that stirred up emotions for family.
“Thinking of my husband, thinking of how proud we all are of Daniel,” said Consuelo.
Camarena's father, Luis, his biggest cheerleader for so long, passed away from cancer in 2019.
“He was a big part of all this, I know he was dancing in heaven … I knew he was up there doing something,” said Louie.
Family members say Camarena dedicated the homer to his dad. Loved ones are headed back to the Friday night game, just in case there's more magic.