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Retiring Cameron is Mariner for a day

The SportsXchange

For one more day, Mike Cameron was a Seattle Mariner.

Invited to throw out the first pitch at Friday's home opener, the longtime center fielder worked out a deal with Seattle where he signed a one-day contract with the club, then officially announced his retirement from baseball.

A 17-year veteran of the Major Leagues, Cameron had perhaps his four most productive years with Seattle from 2000-03, where he took over in center field for the traded Ken Griffey Jr.

He won a pair of Gold Gloves and was named to the 2001 All-Star team with the game being played in Seattle. The Mariners won an American League record 116 games that season.

The iconic photo of that year has Cameron and Mark McLemore walking around Safeco Field waving a large U.S. flag the night the club clinched the American League West shortly after baseball resumed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist bombings.

Cameron, whose four-year time in 2000-03 saw the Mariners average 93 wins per season, is taking this year off, but he isn't ruling out a return to baseball, although he said he had no desire to manage.

He might serve as an instructor or as a coach later on, but he wants to take at least this year off to spend the summer with his family.

"It means a lot to me to be able to retire as a Mariner," Cameron said. "In all my career, this is where I felt the most at home."

Known for a powerful throwing arm, Cameron bounced a throw in the pregame ceremony, forcing his catcher, longtime locker mate Ichiro Suzuki, to catch the ball on a hop.
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