I must preface this piece, in an attempt to salvage some credibility as a knowledgeable baseball fan, that I don’t really think Johnny Damon deserves a plaque of Cooperstown. With that being said…
Damon was my first favorite player on the Red Sox. The first favorite baseball player I ever remember having was Sammy Sosa, so that choice didn’t age very well. I played center field in my early days in little league and was naturally drawn to the speedster patrolling the center of the outfield on my beloved team, the Red Sox. Damon evolved into a fan favorite during the Red Sox’ curse breaking season as he devolved into the caveman. I personally think his hair/facial hair combo during that time is argument enough for the Hall of Fame. I mean, just look at that flowing mane, pure beauty.
Damon ranks fairly well in many career batting totals, 32nd all-time in runs scored, 54th in hits (2,769), and 48th in doubles. These totals were compiled over an 18 year career; He ranks 38th in career at bats. While there is something to be said for being able to perform year after year, he never really elevated his game to true elite status. He was selected to only 2 all-star games in his lengthy career. If he was hardly ever recognized as one of the top players in the league while he was playing, it's difficult to argue that he belongs in the same conversation as the top players of all-time.
Damon will always hold a special place in my heart, but he’ll never gain that special place in the Hall.
Image Source: (cjonline) (Getty images)