Yogi Berra. Reggie Jackson. Johnny Damon?
Most wouldn’t characterize Damon as a “New York Yankees great,” but he was honored as one Sunday, when he joined dozens of other former Bronx Bombers at Yankee Stadium for the team’s Old-Timers’ Game.
At least one former Yank hasn’t forgotten what uniform Johnny Damon wore in his pre-pinstripes days, though. Former journeyman lefty Graeme Lloyd — whose tenure in New York (1996 to 1998) was even shorter than Damon’s — plunked the semi-retired outfielder in the back with a leisurely toss, which ex-pitcher David Cone joked was “for the Boston years.”
Everyone had a good laugh about the light-hearted beanball, and Damon spoke after the game about how it felt to get back on the field in the Bronx.
“It feels really good,” Damon said, via NorthJersey.com. “It’s great to be back in front of these fans. Obviously, I wish I could have played for the Yankees for much longer, but things happen for a reason, you know? I’m at home enjoying my six lovely children and watching my son get ready to do what I’ve done.
“We were very fortunate to be a Yankee. The fact we would have Yogi Berra walking through the clubhouse, and see Whitey Ford, seeing a lot of guys I did play with, was the special thing. When you get out of the game, you’re never really ready. But then when you see these guys — everyone wants to play forever, but the common sense and the ability starts going down — but you keep enjoying the game and you keep rooting for the guys you once played with.”