Cameron Upton’s story one worth celebrating

Published 9:23 am Thursday, March 10, 2016

For the longest time, we had some of our best photographs from the early 2000s hanging on the wall of a hallway here at the Post. One of the most striking was of 6-year-old Cameron Upton, swinging a baseball bat with fire in his eyes and an airbrushed helmet that bore the slogan, “No Fear.”

With Upton, the helmet slogan was more than just a cheap motto. It was a mantra for life.

Upton was born deaf. He had a Cochlear Implant installed when he was a year old that allows him to hear in one ear.

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“As long as his batteries are fully charged, he can hear as good as me or you,” said Upton’s father, Marshall.

Sports, and baseball in particular, were a way for Cameron to fit in at school throughout his childhood. His older brother Carl, who was also born deaf, was a star pitcher for Warren Central’s 2001 state championship team. Cameron followed in his footsteps and was a starting infielder for WC.

Even though he was easily identifiable by his blonde hair and the Cochlear Implant tucked behind his right ear, Cameron was never “the deaf kid” at school. He was just one of the guys. He cut up with his teammates, celebrated, and had a wicked sense of humor. On the rare occasions when he made a mistake on the baseball field, he was known to turn his hearing aid off so he couldn’t hear the coaches yelling at him.

It was fun watching that fiery 6-year-old grow up into a great high school player and a great person, and it was heartwarming to see his latest achievement. Earlier this week, Upton — now a freshman shortstop at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. — was selected as the Northeastern Athletic Conference Player of the Week.

Upton is hitting .288 and leads the conference with eight RBIs so far this season. He has three doubles and has scored nine runs in 13 games. He hit .429 over a five-game stretch last week to earn the player of the week award.

It’s a great start to what should be a great college career. Upton has come a long way from the day that picture was taken during a Governor’s Cup game at Halls Ferry Park, and it’s obvious he’s got a lot further to go before his story ends.

No fear indeed.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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