Michael Terrance Cameron
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 170 lb.
- High School LaGrange (GA) High School
- Debut August 27, 1995
- Final Game September 12, 2011
- Born January 8, 1973 in LaGrange, GA USA
A three-time Gold Glove winner (2001, 2003 & 2006), outfielder Mike Cameron was both a power and speed threat. Cameron had five 20-20 seasons in his career. He had his best year (as measured by Adjusted OPS+) with the great 2001 Seattle Mariners who won 116 games. However, his own personal highlight came in 2002, when he hit four home runs in one game on May 2nd in a 15-4 win against the White Sox. In that game, he and teammate Bret Boone hit back-to-back home runs twice in the first inning, when the Mariners put 10 runs on the scoreboard; it is the only time in major league history that two teammates have homered twice (and back-to-back) in an inning. Partially because of that, his four home runs only netted him four RBI.
Originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 1991 amateur draft, Cameron was traded by the Sox to the Cincinnati Reds for Paul Konerko after the 1998 season. One year later, Cameron was dealt to the Seattle Mariners along with Brett Tomko and Antonio Perez for Ken Griffey Jr. Mike signed a three-year contract with the New York Mets after the 2003 season, but with the acquisition of Carlos Beltran for the 2005 season, he had to move to right field, then was traded to the San Diego Padres over the winter.
In 2005 Cameron suffered a nasty injury after he collided head first with center fielder Beltran while diving for a ball. Cameron suffered a broken cheek bone and many lacerations to his face and only played in 76 games that year. He made a solid comeback with the Padres in 2006. Back in center field, he won a Gold Glove while hitting 22 home runs and driving in 83 runs.
Cameron tested positive for a stimulant for the second time in November of 2007. That led to his being banned for 25 games at the beginning of 2008, when he joined the Milwaukee Brewers. He moved to the Boston Red Sox for the 2010 season, taking over in center field and pushing Jacoby Ellsbury to left field, but two weeks into the season, he was struck by injuries, suffering both from kidney stones and an abdominal tear. He was placed on the disabled list on April 20. He played in only 48 games, hitting .259 with 4 homers and 15 runs batted in. He was no longer counted on as a starter in 2011, after the Sox signed Carl Crawford to a huge contract in the off-season, but his poor performance sent him even further down the depth chart. On June 30th, he was released after hitting .149 in 33 games; he was in the second year of a two-year contract worth $15.5 million. The Florida Marlins then picked him up, and he hit .239 with 6 homers and 18 RBI for them. He was again slowed down by various ailments, including a hamstring injury, a sprained left wrist and sore knees. On September 12th, he struck out in a pinch-hitting appearance against the Atlanta Braves, then after the game, the Marlins announced they had released him. While he was expected to retire at that point, it was instead announced on December 20th that he had signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals for 2012, assorted with an invitation to spring training. Shortly before spring training started though, Cameron had a change of heart and informed the Nationals that he had in fact decided to retire. He then signed a one-day contract with the Seattle Mariners in order to retire as a Mariner, capping the day by throwing the ceremonial first pitch before the M's 2012 home opener on April 13th.
He is the father of Daz Cameron.
- AL All-Star (2001)
- 3-time Gold Glove Winner (2001/AL, 2003/AL & 2006/NL)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 8 (1999, 2001, 2002, 2004 & 2006-2009)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2004)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (2001)
- Chris Landers: "The Hall of Fame Case: Mike Cameron", "Cut 4", mlb.com, December 28, 2016.