CLEVELAND (AP) — Not long after Johnny Damon joined the Indians, he gave each of his new teammates a gift — customized bathrobes with their names and jersey numbers embroidered on the back.
Since then, Damon’s handed out advice, and lately he’s been delivering clutch hits.
After a slow start, the 18-year veteran outfielder is beginning to find his swing for the first-place Indians, who signed Damon as a free agent in April.
The 38-year-old has brought needed leadership and wisdom to a young, surprising club that begins the summer on top of the AL Central for the second year in a row. Although his batting average currently stands at .203, Damon, a two-time All-Star who has played in 59 postseason games, is beginning to produce on the field.
Damon hit a two-run home run off Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo in the fourth inning of Wednesday night’s 8-1 victory over the Reds.
Damon, a .285 lifetime hitter with 2,748 hits, began his career with Kansas City in 1995, spending his first six seasons with the Royals. He has also played for Oakland, Boston, the New York Yankees, Detroit and Tampa Bay.