Retire in Peace, Mike Cameron

First of all, let me just say Rest in Peace Gary Carter. The reason for me not blogging about that tragedy and enormous loss for the baseball world, is two-fold. First, I don’t have the stones to properly celebrate such an individual. Second, I am a little too young to really have experienced the impact Carter had on the game first-hand.

So, I’m going to do a remembrance of someone I did grow up watching. The one and only, Mike Cameron. He played for eight different teams in almost 2,000 big league games. And he’s one of the most underappreciated players of our era.

The reason I say that is because his 162-game average includes 88 runs, 23 home runs, 80 RBI and 25 stolen bases. That’s not just good…it’s exceptional. To maintain that much production over 17 seasons is no small task. I’m not saying he’s a Hall-of-Famer or anything, but to put up those numbers so consistently, while also playing great defense in center field is absolutely worthy of being a People’s HOF’er. I’m not exactly sure what the People’s HOF is, but let’s just consider it my list of players who won’t be in, but deserve recognition (for example, Tim Wakefield).

Cameron is also on the very short list of players who have hit four home runs in a game. And if I remember correctly, he nearly hit a fifth that game, but came up short on a fly ball. I’ll never forget watching Cameron mash with the Mariners, or chase down gappers in New York.

He was one of those rare players who any baseball fan from the 90’s and 2000’s can identify with immediately. And I doubt you’ll find a fan who disliked the guy. I just want to thank Mike for the memories, and for playing baseball the way it’s supposed to be played for all these years.

I leave you with one RIDICULOUS stat I came across on Twitter. For his career, Cameron’s WAR (which essentially tallies how many wins a player is worth over an average replacement) was 46.7. Hall-of-Famer Kirby Puckett’s was 44.8. That’s the definition of underrated. That’s the definition of valuable. And that’s the defining legacy Cameron will leave behind for any and all diehard baseball fans: A winner.

Retire in peace, Mike. The baseball world will miss you out there.

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4 Responses to “Retire in Peace, Mike Cameron”

  1. Jillian @ Brilliant Title Says:

    I love that man.

  2. Serreyyyyyeeeeeeeeeee Says:

    my girl was just wearing my cameron shirt that i snagged in the outfield in like 2002…. he was throwing shirts and i was able to grab one… who did he take yard 4 times? andy p? i forget…

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