SEATTLE — After 17 seasons well traveled outfielder Mike Cameron has decided to walk away from the game of baseball. Cameron, 39, had seen his career dwindle away over the past two years and knew his time was up after drawing little interest this offseason.
Only the Washington Nationals expressed interest in the three time gold glove award winner and Cameron signed a minor-league contract with the club in December. As the next few months went by Cameron realized he didn’t have the energy to continue into his eighteenth season and informed the Nationals he was retiring.
Cameron had played most recently with the Boston Red Sox from 2010-2011 and the Florida (now Miami) Marlins for the last two months of the 2011 season.
Drafted straight out of LaGrange High School in LaGrange, Georgia by the Chicago White Sox in 1991 Cameron reached the majors after just four seasons. He made his major league debut on August 27, 1995 going o-for-3 with one strikeout in 2-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
After four years in Chicago he was traded to Cincinnati in exchange for first-baseman Paul Konerko. Konerko would go on to hit 389 home runs in thirteen seasons for the White Sox while Cameron spent one year in Cincinnati before being a part of one of the biggest trades in major league baseball.
Cameron, along with three other players were traded to the Seattle Mariners for “The Kid” Ken Griffy Jr. The trade put Cameron on the map and it also marked the begin of Griffy’s injury woes which included several knee and hamstring injuries.
After his four year stint in Seattle Cameron would never last more than two years with any other team in his career. Cameron’s journeyman career: New York Mets (2004-05), San Diego Padres (2006-07), Milwaukee Brewers (2008-09), Boston Red Sox (2010-2011) and Florida Marlins (2011).
While not hall of fame caliber, Cameron did establish himself as one of the most athletic center fielders in the league winning three gold gloves in 2001, 2003 and 2006 before becoming a utility player later in his career. Landing only one All-Star appearance in 2001, when the game was in Seattle, Cameron was one of seven Mariners to be selected.
On May 2, 2002 Cameron became the 15th player in MLB history to hit for home runs in one game. Cameron finished his career with a .249 batting average, 278 home runs and 968 RBI’s.
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