Nine years ago, outfielder Mike Cameron wore a Mariners uniform. Nineteen months ago, Cameron played his final game at Safeco Field. Two hundred and ninety-seven days ago, he faced the Mariners at Fenway Park for the last time.
Mike Cameron played for eight teams in a 17-year career, spending four seasons in Seattle from 2000-2003. He arrived from Cincinnati in a four-player trade for Ken Griffey Jr., claiming two Gold Glove Awards and an All-Star selection as the Mariners’ star center fielder.
On May 2, 2002, Cameron made the most memorable appearance of his time with the Mariners, and arguably, of his career. In an afternoon game against the White Sox, Bret Boone and Cameron launched back-to-back home runs off Jon Rauch in the top of the first. After a double and three singles, the Sox attempted to curb the Mariners’ 5-run lead by exchanging right-handed Rauch for lefty Jim Parque.
By the end of the inning, however, the Mariners had collected four home runs, two of which belonged to Cameron. The game would end a whopping 15-4, and in just five innings, he would notch four home runs on his belt, joining a 14-member list of players who reached four homers in a single game. He remains the only Mariner to make the list, and until yesterday, the only active MLB player left of the fifteen.
Although Mike hung up his Mariners jersey long before he made the decision to hang up his MLB career, he made an indelible impression in Seattle. Per Jim Evans of the Mariners’ official blog:
“The Seattle Mariners would like to salute Mike Cameron on a wonderful 17-year Major League career and thank him for helping make so many memories in his four years in a Mariners uniform.”