Johnny Damon thinks his numbers are worthy of the Hall
Johnny Damon isn't happy with his Hall of Fame chances.
The former outfielder, who retired in 2012, is on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot, but it could easily be his last year of eligibility. Early results show Damon receiving votes on only 1.2 percent of ballots, and unless the uncounted ballots don't improve his number to 5 percent, he won't be eligible in 2019.
Speaking to MLB Network Radio, Damon said his numbers are good enough to earn Hall credentials, and that his lack of All-Star appearances (two) are overblown.
"That's just something you can't control. Going into it I kept hearing, 'Well he only went to two All-Star Games,'" Damon said. "Well, for the most part it's a popularity contest. I feel like I should've been to seven, maybe eight with leading the league in runs scored, and hits, and stolen bases at the All-Star Break, but you know what? Some guys are having better years that year. I played the game absolutely clean, a bunch of those guys made the All-Star team over me."
Damon added that he feels his numbers are superior to players who have already been elected, and that he was "way better than a leadoff hitter" who's a lock to be a future first-ballot entrant. He didn't specify who, but former teammate Derek Jeter will be on the ballot in 2020.
Between stints with the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Cleveland Indians, Damon hit .284/.352/.433 for his career with 235 home runs, 522 doubles, 109 triples, and 408 stolen bases. He won two World Series championships. The first came in 2004 with the Red Sox, and he won again in 2009 as a member of the Yankees.
Damon also demonstrated an innate ability to stay on the field. Over 16 consecutive seasons, from 1996 through 2011, he never played in fewer than 141 games.