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Renfroe bonded with dad over camper trips

MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Before Hunter Renfroe turned 10, he had already played hundreds of games across his native Mississippi.

Traveling to a new tournament every weekend, Todd Renfroe noticed rather quickly that his son's schedule would only get more intense over the years.

SAN DIEGO -- Before Hunter Renfroe turned 10, he had already played hundreds of games across his native Mississippi.

Traveling to a new tournament every weekend, Todd Renfroe noticed rather quickly that his son's schedule would only get more intense over the years.

"Hotel rooms are expensive," Todd Renfroe said. "Food is expensive. We were going to go out of town every weekend. So you either go broke buying food and hotel rooms, or you buy a camper."

They chose the latter in the form of a brand new 2003 Cherokee fifth wheel.

:: Father's Day 2017 ::

"That camper solidified they were in it for me until I didn't want to be in it," Hunter Renfroe said. "We still have the camper to this day."

That camper transported Todd and Hunter across the southeastern United States. It left countless baseball diamonds and memories in its wake.

Like the time Renfroe's team, the Mississippi Bandits, was knocked out surprisingly early from a tournament in Gulfport, Miss.

"It was a week-long tournament, so we just went down to Gulf Shores, Ala., and we stayed the rest of the week at the beach," Todd said.

Todd recalled the trip fondly. Hunter did, too, perhaps for different reasons.

"We were surrounded by pine trees at the campground. And literally, you could not stand outside, because there were so many mosquitoes," Hunter said. "It was hilarious -- we'd go outside, cook outside, run back inside and eat. That night, we had a bunch of raccoons coming up onto the steps of the camper begging for food. It was crazy. But it was a lot of fun."

The Renfroes credit their trips around the state in that camper for their lasting friendship.

And make no mistake, the father-son relationship between Todd and Hunter is most certainly a friendship. Todd was the best man in Hunter's wedding, and the two still regularly hunt and fish together.

"Me being an only child, he was always there pitching to me, working with me at the field," Hunter said. "It was always fun to be with him, doing all that traveling, being with him the whole time. He's always been my best friend since."

In the 14 years since the Renfroes invested in their Cherokee fifth wheel, Hunter made the College World Series with Mississippi State, was drafted by the Padres and has developed into one of the Majors' top rookies this season. In short: plenty has changed.

The camper hasn't.

"I'm looking at it right now," Todd Renfroe said over the phone. "It's still in great shape."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Hunter Renfroe