Tigers' Daz Cameron grateful to be in the bigs after 'tough' battle with coronavirus
Detroit – Daz Cameron was understandably excited to be wearing a Tigers uniform Wednesday, making his major league debut.
But the outfielder was also deeply appreciative and thankful, after what Cameron had gone through this summer.
Cameron tested positive for COVID-19 early in the summer and was pretty much unable to do anything for the month of July.
It was a harrowing experience, Cameron said, having the virus.
"It was one of those things where you never know until you actually go through coronavirus, until you get it, and then you realize how bad it can be," said Cameron Wednesday. "I actually had seasonal allergies growing up a kid, so when coronavirus hit me, it kind of pushed me to a stage where I was having every symptom of it.
"I'm just thankful to be here and be blessed, because I actually got pneumonia and I got a virus on top of when it did happen.
"It was tough. I'm glad to be here now."
Cameron was cleared of the virus at the end of July. He learned he was positive a few days after being tested, after the Tigers gathered for summer camp.
"I was quarantined for the whole month of July; I had every symptom," Cameron said. "It was just a mind-blowing experience for me and my family, and I know a lot of people that were going through coronavirus can say the same thing.
"It hit me literally like right after the testing was done for coronavirus here. We had to quarantine for two days. After those two days I got the call and they told me I had coronavirus and it was one of those things I couldn't believe it.
"I just got through it and now here I am."
Having the virus did have some effect on Cameron, although he's trying to put it in his background.
"I don't really try to think about it because it was one of those things that was life-changing in a sense," Cameron said. "I did go through a lot of things. Definitely life-threatening but it's something I'm just glad I got through. It could have definitely led me to different medical conditions."
Once cleared, Cameron found his stride as quickly as he could, though he was unsure how his body would respond.
"Getting back into actual playing mode was my main goal in getting ready for this moment, right now," Cameron said. "I had to work hard and make sure I got into the weight room and do the things able to contribute for this day.
"I'm just glad it worked out for me."
Cameron received the call on he was being promoted from Dave Littlefield, the Tigers' vice-president of player development, and then called his parents (including his dad, former major-leaguer Mike Cameron).
"To speak with them, it felt like it was almost not real, a dream come true," Cameron said. "It's been surreal, just being here is a blessing and I'm just ready to get things started.
"To be right here, it just means a lot and I'll never forget this day."