Royals Where are They Now? Johnny Damon


There are two players fans have been eagerly hoping would return to Kansas City to retire as Royals. One of those was heavily rumored to want a return engagement, but he signed a multi-year deal with the NY Yankees. The other’s career is in limbo.

June 28, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Indians left fielder Johnny Damon (33) hits a three-run home run in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

In 1992, the Royals selected outfielder Johnny Damon with the 35th overall pick. I unfortunately missed him in the minors (he played in Wilmington during the 1994 season and I did not start attending games until 1995). By the summer of 1995, Damon was in the big leagues for good.

In his final season with the Royals (2000), he led the American League in runs scored (136) and stolen bases (46), while hitting a career-best .327. In yet another unpopular cost-cutting move, the Royals traded Damon (and Mark Ellis, who is still playing) to Oakland.

Damon spent one year with the A’s (2001) before heading to Boston where he won a World Series in 2004. In an unpopular move to Red Sox Nation, he signed with the hated Yankees and played in New York from 2006-2009, where he helped them win the World Series in his final season (.364 with four RBIs in the World Series).

From 2010-2012, Damon bounced between three different big league teams, but Cleveland released him during the summer of 2012.

The now 40 year old sat out the 2013 season, though he played for Thailand in the World Baseball Classic qualifier. Last week, Damon said he wants to play (or manage), but only at the Major League level. He is 231 hits away from 3000, a milestone he would like to reach.

However, I do not see a team giving him a Major League contract, especially after not playing for over a year and being 40. Right now, it does not look like Damon will be having a farewell tour like Derek Jeter.