Loe gains strength from grandfather

Loe gains strength from grandfather

Loe gains strength from grandfather
KANSAS CITY -- Kameron Loe could always tell when his grandfather was at one of his ballgames, because he could hear him in the stands.

"Hubba hubba!" Howard E. Pound would call out. This was an old rally cry from his military service that Pound brought home from World War II.

Loe heard it from Little League, to high school, to college at Cal State-Northridge, right in his grandfather's backyard.

He heard it in his head on April 18, when Loe logged a win against the Dodgers, the day after his grandfather passed away at 93. And he'll hear it again on Father's Day, when Loe mourns the man who he credits for helping him on his way to the big leagues.

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"He had such a huge impact on my life; as big as anybody," Loe said. "He gave me so much wisdom. My dad wasn't there, so he really was the man in my life. We had a special bond."

Both of Loe's parents were musicians who played late-night gigs in Los Angeles. Because of this Kameron spent many a night with his grandparents. Howard Pound had plenty of experience to impart. He was an All-American in football and basketball at Michigan State, and even played one season in the NFL for the Detroit Lions. Pound, however, found his true calling in World War II, where he fought in the South Pacific and met his wife after he was wounded. She was a nurse.

Pound did not tell many war stories, Loe said.

"I'm sure he killed men with his bare hands," he said. "He had to learn to be hard, to get things done now or else somebody dies. So he was very efficient, let's say, about getting people to do what he wanted. I mean that in a good way. You knew, 'Grandpa wants us to move, so we'd better move.' He didn't get pushed around by anybody."

Loe's parents split when Kameron was 11. His mom raised him and his grandfather assumed the role of father figure.

"He took me horseback riding, sponsored swimming lessons, built us go-karts out of old lawnmower engines, got me into all of these baseball leagues," Loe said. "You name it, he was the sponsor behind it."

Pound was not a baseball man, but he grew to love the game because Kameron loved it.

He saw Loe pitch a number of times in the Majors, usually when Loe's Rangers or Brewers went through California. Otherwise, he would watch on television.

"He went to, gosh, 20 years of baseball games for me," Loe said. "He might not have known all the rules, but he sure loved going out there. Anybody that knew him, they knew him from his cheer -- hubba hubba!"

Loe and some friends called out that cheer at Pound's funeral in California. The Brewers granted Loe bereavement leave.

He could not have imagined missing it.

"He was a very giving man," Loe said. "His main goal in life, I feel, was to provide a fun, healthy, happy life for his family. That's what he worked his whole life to do. He didn't spend much money on himself, so when he did spend, it was on us. He was a special man."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.