Mike Cameron in 2004
Mike Cameron’s time with the Mets is perhaps best remembered for the 2005 collision with Carlos Beltran in the outfield. One year earlier, he put together a 30 home run campaign many fans seem to have forgotten about.
Hitting 30 home runs in a single year isn’t as easy as the juiced baseballs of 2019 would make you think. There are only 34 individual seasons of Mets players who accomplished this feat—Cameron doing so in his first year with the club back in 2004.
Coming off a Gold Glove season with the Seattle Mariners in 2003, Cameron brought the spectacular defense with him to New York. He also appeared to trade in some hits for home runs as his batting average for the 2004 season slipped 22 points from the year prior.
During his time in Seattle, Cameron did put his power on display. He hit 25 home runs in 2001 and 2002, then settling for 18 in 2003.
In year one with New York, his 30 set a new personal-high which he never managed to beat again. Typically hitting between the five and seven spot, Cameron had plenty of chances to drive in runs.
This wasn’t always the case, though. Cameron’s rather low .231 batting average didn’t help him produce a large number of runs. In fact, he went on to end the year with only 76 which matched his number from the previous campaign.
Cameron’s best home run month came in July when he smashed 10 of them. He added another 8 in August, taking full advantage of the summer months.
It comes as no surprise to learn 19 of Cameron’s home runs in 2004 were solo shots. They weren’t all for nothing with 16 of them occurring in Mets wins.
Cameron’s big league career included a nice balance of power and stolen bases. He would finish his career with 278 round-trippers and 297 successfully swiped bags. The 2004 season included 22 stolen bases from his fast legs.
This particular season seemed to signal a change in his game. Now over 30-years-old, the home runs made up a larger part of his game. This lone full season remained the most powerful one for his bat.