With baseball season upon us, I am going to occasionally revisit some of my favorite baseball interviews. One of my all-time favorite interviews can be found at On the Beat with Mike Cameron.
Cameron had a seventeen year career, playing for eight teams, including the Chicago White Sox who drafted him. I interviewed him in 2009, during his last season with the Milwaukee Brewers and it was quite an interview.
Usually, with these onfield interviews, we are lucky to squeeze in a couple questions. Therefore, I try to jump right in and get to the point. Cameron was having none of that and chided me for not asking how he was. Then he invited me into the dugout. This was a rather tense moment. I really thought he was upset and I might be in trouble.
While Cameron was serious about correcting me or teaching me better interview techniques, he wasn't really mad. It ended up being a four minute interview and a story Matt and I like to tell.
I still don't really know what Cameron was doing. He might have been ribbing me completely or he might have been legitimately trying to help me. Either way, it is a classic.
As a footnote to the story, a couple weeks later, we happened to be on the field in Houston when the Brewers were visiting. Cameron had his back to us about 5 feet away, but in a restricted area.
I greeted him with a "how are you doing?" and I saw that big smile of his crack his face. He turned around and I asked him if he remembered us. He replied that he definitely did and we talked a bit.
Athletes and celebrities too often are criticized for every little action. In this case, Cameron was very cool and gave us a great memory. It will always be one of my most unique interviews. I liked Cameron from his time in Chicago and I always respected his baseball accomplishments, but I will always have this special memory of him.
Mike Cameron and me in Milwaukee, WI-August 2009.