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Cameron throws first pitch, retires as Mariner

Cameron throws first pitch, retires as Mariner

Cameron throws first pitch, retires as Mariner
SEATTLE -- Mike Cameron played for eight teams in his 17-year Major League career, but the former All-Star center fielder will retire a Mariner.

The announcement that the 39-year-old Cameron signed a one-day employment agreement to officially retire with the Mariners came just a few hours before he was set to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Seattle's home opener at Safeco Field.

"This is probably the one place I feel like is home for me," Cameron said. "I feel like it's a place where, it's a long way from home for me, but it's also been a special home for me. I felt like it was only fitting for me to slide my way into the Mariner family for the rest of my life."

Cameron spent four seasons with the Mariners, coming to Seattle as part of the trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to Cincinnati.

"The days that I played here and the opportunity that I got to replace a legend, and the fact that the people kind of took hold and took shape of me and kind of walked me through everything and gave me the opportunity to really start my career off right, this is basically where I want to finish," Cameron said.

Cameron won two Gold Glove Awards (2001, 2003) and was elected to his only All-Star Game (2001) while with Seattle. He admitted he was initially afraid to play for Lou Piniella because the former Mariners manager would not tolerate mistakes, but now calls it "the best thing that ever happened to me for my baseball career."

Cameron retired from baseball this February after signing a Minor League contract with the Washington Nationals during the offseason. Now that his career is officially over, Cameron said he will spend time at home with his kids, but he would be interested in working with young ballplayers in the future.

Josh Liebeskind is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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