SAN DIEGO -- The Milwaukee Brewers' Mike Cameron patrolled center field for the San Diego Padres for the two seasons prior to him showing up in Milwaukee, and he did it well. A defensive ace who makes it seem almost too easy, he was well liked in San Diego. And he liked it there.
But, as is the nature of the business, sometimes what seems like the right situation doesn't always last. Cameron is now in Milwaukee, doing what he does best, and that's play center field.
The Brewers were in San Diego on Tuesday for the first of three against the Padres. It was Cameron's first trip to PETCO Park as an opposing player since his departure, and he homered in his first at-bat, but before the game, he talked about his new home and the memories of his Friar tenure.
"I'm doing pretty good," Cameron said. "Just getting a chance to play ball every day for a pretty good baseball team. If you're playing Major League Baseball, you can't beat that."
It was well chronicled while he was in San Diego that it was a place he would like to stay. The fans knew his feelings, and so did the organization. Cameron felt no need to reiterate that point on Tuesday. So he didn't.
Instead, he stayed on the straight and narrow, with his focus on the game at hand, even if he didn't see the game as anything special.
"It'll be like a normal game," Cameron said. "But it's cool to get a chance to come back and see some old people."
The Padres' Brian Giles was sure to say hello when he spotted Cameron, and so did many of the same media members who had to cover his departure. Folks in San Diego loved Mike Cameron.
"I'm looking forward to seeing Mike," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He's one of my favorite players. He came to play every day and played hard."
Now, he's doing the same for the Brewers. A team with loads of potential and a lot of young guys. Cameron has just found his spot and settled in.
"We got ... a young, good mix [of players]," Cameron said.
He cracked jokes with teammate Dave Bush. He was gracious with the media as different outlets pined for his attention. He had made his impact in San Diego, even in his short time there, and he was coming back for the first time.
"It was the best," Cameron said of his time with the Padres. "Can't complain about nothing at all."
Ronald P. Clark is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.