Damon spent much of his infancy as an " army brat ", moving to several bases from Okinawa, Japan, to West Germany before his father left the army and settled the family in the Orlando area while Damon was still a pre-schooler. Damon also played football in high school, once getting hit by Warren Sapp and sustaining the first concussion in his life. He made his Major League debut on August 12, after playing the previous season with the minor league Wichita Wranglers. He played for the Royals from to He scored runs in and runs in One of his best seasons came in when he led the American League in runs with and stolen bases with 46, as he was second in hits , at bats , and plate appearances Oakland Athletics Damon spent with the Oakland Athletics.
He was third in the league in at bats and seventh in runs Damon suffered a severe concussion and had to be removed from the field on a stretcher. Jackson was also concussed, but was able to walk off the field with assistance. In , Damon was second in the league in runs and began to re-establish himself among the premier lead-off hitters and center fielders in the game. In arguably his best season in the Major Leagues, Damon batted.
According to his autobiography, he was only the fourth leadoff batter in the history of Major League Baseball to drive in more than 90 runs in a season.
Damon batted a torrid 7-for during that year's Division Series against the Angels but struggled in the ALCS against the Yankees, going only 3-for from the plate through the first six games. Louis Cardinals in a four-game sweep. Through his four-year career with the Red Sox — , Damon appeared in games in center field and seven as a designated hitter and hit 56 home runs. Damon batted second in the lineup for at-bats in , accounting for nearly all of the rest except for occasional pinch hit.
He started two games as the third hitter in , and in , he had at-bats, and all but three as the lead-off hitter. He also earned his second All-Star selection, starting as the American League's center fielder. Damon's signing with the Yankees led to his being subsequently vilified by many Red Sox fans because of his previously professed loyalty to the city and Red Sox organization, including his now infamous statement in May , where he claimed, "There's no way I can go play for the Yankees, but I know they're going to come after me hard.
It's definitely not the most important thing to go out there for the top dollar, which the Yankees are going to offer me.
It's not what I need. Damon, who had a clean-cut appearance until his third season with the Red Sox, had been planning on cutting his hair and shaving his beard off even if he didn't sign with the Yankees, but waited until after he signed with them in order to prevent speculation.
Damon hit two home runs, drove in eight runs, and scored eight runs in the first three games as the Yankees won by a combined score of 39—20 and dealt a severe blow to the Red Sox play-off aspirations. In , Damon finished 3rd in runs and 9th in stolen bases 25 in the AL, while hitting 24 home runs, his career high.
He also tied his mark of 35 doubles from the previous two seasons.
Damon with the Yankees in On June 7, , Damon went 6 for 6 in the Yankees 12—11 win over the Kansas City Royals, including a walk-off ground-rule double, which had bounced over the wall.
He is the first Yankee to have six hits in a 9 inning game since Myril Hoag accomplished the feat in The Yankees placed Damon on the day disabled list for the first time in his MLB career on July 6, with a bruised AC joint in his left shoulder. The injury occurred a day earlier when Damon collided with the outfield wall in an attempt to catch a triple. At that time, Damon was one of only three active major league ballplayers who had played at least 10 years in the majors without going on the disabled list.
He returned to active duty, and hit 27 doubles for the season. For the season, he batted. When the Yankees went on to play the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series , Damon got credit for stealing two bases in one play when the Phillies defense was shifted against batter Mark Teixeira. Damon got his second championship ring as the Yankees would eventually defeat the Phillies in 6 games. Damon, after winning his second World Series, entered free agency after the season despite expressing his desire to return to the Yankees.
On July 6, Damon recorded his 2,th career hit off Jake Arrieta of the Baltimore Orioles , and hit a walk-off home run off David Hernandez , giving the Tigers a 7—5 win.
Manager Joe Maddon said he expected the year-old Damon to often be replaced by Sam Fuld during the season late in games that the Rays are leading. On April 16, , Damon had the game-winning hit for the fifth consecutive game for the Rays, two of which were walk-off hits. On June 29, Damon tied Ted Williams for 71st on the all-time hit list with 2, hits.
The hit came at Tropicana Field in the bottom of the 6th inning. On July 2, , Damon went 4-for-4 and his first-inning single moved him past Ted Williams on the all-time hit list. He would finish the season 57th all-time with 2, career hits. Wilson to give his team an early 2—0 lead. The Rays won the game 9—0, however they eventually lost the best-of-five divisional series 3—1. Heading into the All-Star break, Damon had 35 hits in official at-bats and was hitting.
His first year of eligibility for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum came in where he joined a notable group of first-time candidates, including Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, and Omar Vizquel. He only received 8 votes, or 1. Free agency — Damon hoped to be signed for , and offered the Yankees the opportunity to sign him to a contract for the league's minimum salary as a replacement for the injured Curtis Granderson , also expressing a willingness to be released once Granderson returned.
The Yankees indicated that they were not interested in signing Damon. Damon remained unsigned for all of , and did not play. He needed to reach that goal. He told members of the media that he has stayed in good physical condition and hoped to receive invitations to spring training. In a May interview while in Boston to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Red Sox World Series championship, Damon indicated that he has no plans to officially announce his retirement, even though he acknowledged that he will likely not play in the major leagues again.
He also stated that he still wants to play, has continued to stay in good physical condition, and could play if given the opportunity, saying "I feel like if a team calls me, I can be ready.
If I play tonight, I'll hit a homer. A July press report indicated that Damon still hoped to play again in the major leagues. According to the story, in June Damon completed an impromptu session with a batting practice pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies , who was impressed enough to suggest that the Phillies should consider signing him. The shows that he filmed were part of the season of the show.
He was eliminated from the show on the episode which aired on February 2, He was partnered with professional dancer Emma Slater. Alex Rodriguez and Damon Damon has had two marriages and has fathered eight children. Damon married his high school sweetheart, Angela Vannice, in when he was They had twins a son and a daughter together in before divorcing in In , Damon married Michelle Mangan, who gave birth to their first daughter in In April they welcomed their fifth daughter.
Damon spent much of his infancy as an " army brat ", moving to several bases from Okinawa, Japan, to West Germany before his father left the army and settled the family in the Orlando area while Damon was still a pre-schooler.
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It is exact