Dave Cameron has been a prominent baseball writer and managing editor for FanGraphs for quite a long time (at least in internet standards). He was the site’s first full-time employee, and he’s seen the site grow by leaps and bounds since he began contributing. Personally, he’s also experienced highs and lows, including a battle with leukemia. Over the years, Cameron has parlayed his baseball knowledge into articles for Baseball Prospectus, ESPN, and the Wall Street Journal. But now, he’s going to be taking his talents to the San Diego Padres.
In a final farewell column, Cameron told readers that he’s be heading for the Padres as part of its research and development department:
I never really expected to write these words. When other job opportunities have arisen over the years, I’ve brushed them away, telling prospective employers that I already had it better than anyone could reasonably expect. David Appelman is the best boss I’ve ever had, and probably will ever have. My coworkers are amazing, not just at producing good content for the public, but at being quality friends. This wasn’t a dream job for me, because “write about nerdy baseball stuff on the internet” wasn’t a thing when I was a kid, but it was better than any job I could have dreamed up.
But after 10 years, I’m hanging up my virtual pen. Starting next week, I’m going to go begin a new adventure, helping build out a Research and Development department for the San Diego Padres.
It’s a massive step forward for Cameron, who created U.S.S. Mariner in 2002 and then joined FanGraphs in 2008. He’s been with the site through thick and thin, helping guide it to a place where it’s one of the most popular sabermetrics websites online.
Cameron was grateful for the treatment he received from owner David Appelman:
When I was diagnosed with leukemia six years ago, I was given some pretty grim five-year survival rates. (Take that, forecasts!) It wasn’t clear that I was going to make it through chemo or, if necessary, a bone-marrow transplant. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t guarantee I was ever going to be able to work again. David kept sending me paychecks anyway. He drove down to North Carolina to keep me company in the hospital. He took care of my family when we needed it most. He didn’t have to do any of that, but that’s just who he is.
And that’s why I’m sure that FanGraphs will succeed for as long as he’s in charge.
Cameron said that with many talented people running the site, he felt it was safe to leave and take the position with the Padres. The San Diego Union-Tribune points out that Cameron has been critical of the team in his writings, which isn’t surprising, given how wretched the Padres have been over the last 20 years.
Cameron will be joining the team effectively immediately, and no replacement has been announced for him at Fangraphs yet. The site posted a job opening for a full-time writer position last week.