Mike Cameron retires as a Mariner

Mike Cameron officially retired as a member of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Cameron, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Seattle's game against Oakland, had signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals for the 2012 season, but announced his retirement before spring training.

"I was excited to be invited to throw out the first pitch by the Mariners. On my way here on Wednesday, I decided that I wanted to retire as a Mariner," said the former center fielder. "My memories and my time here were a joy both on the field and with my family. I am pleased that I was able to work with the Mariners organization to make this happen."

Cameron is perhaps best remembered for being traded from the Reds to the Mariners as part of the deal that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to Cincinnati after the 1999 season.

"When Mike told us that he would like to retire as a Mariner, we were excited and proud and wanted to make it happen for Mike," Seattle president Chuck Armstrong said. "He was an integral contributor to the Mariners success from 2000-2003, and is a wonderful representative of the Mariners and the game of baseball. We wish him and his family the best as he moves beyond his playing days."

In 17 major league seasons with eight different major league teams, including the White Sox, Mets, Padres and Brewers, Cameron was a career .249 hitter with 278 home runs and 968 RBI.