I love when guys like Mike Cameron call it a career. Not that I want him to retire, but it lets people look at his career work and decide what kind of player he is. Cameron played in the bigs for 17 years and for the most part played in absolute obscurity, even though he had some pretty impressive seasons. In today’s world of celebrating mediocrity, Mike Cameron could have been a Hall of Famer with some of the seasons he had.
You look at his career and it’s easy to see that he was a 4.5 tool player. If only he could hit above 0.280 he would have been a perennial All Star. He definitely had power (278 home runs), speed (297 stolen bases), runs (1064 runs scored), and RBIs (968 RBIs). His average for a 162 game season was 0.249/23/80 with 25 stolen bases. I think those are pretty impressive numbers. Tell me you wouldn’t want him in your lineup and you’d be lying to me.
The biggest problem Cameron had in his career was where to hit him in the batting order. He wasn’t leadoff material because of his low average, but his speed and power dictated him to be in the top half of the order. He would end up usually batting 2nd or 5th for the majority of is career. What is interesting though, is he was never really a collector’s darling, even though his numbers dictated that he should have been. I mean he was a 20/20 guy when he was 26, I know I had a few of his rookie cards hoping he would develop, but I think that I was in the minority.
He played for eight franchises in his career and never stayed longer than 4 years with any of them. Over the course of his career he amassed more than $76 million in salary. He was also involved in two huge trades, bringing Paul Konerko to Chicago and Ken Griffey Jr. to Cincinatti. His best season was in 2001 with the Mariners where he batted 0.267/25/110/34 and finished 16th in MVP voting. He is in no way a Hall of Famer, but still he deserves some respect for the career he had.
His autograph on eBay goes from about $2 – $5 and are readily available. He didn’t have too many autograph cards in his career but he was a great TTM and IP signer so there are quite a few of those cards available as well. I could see him having a post playing days career in baseball, and I hope that is the case. Baseball needs more guys like Cameron, who fly under the radar, but make teams better.
What did you think of Mike Cameron’s career?