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Former Royal Johnny Damon among new names on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

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Will another Royal go to Cooperstown?

Johnny Damon #18
Johnny Damon played with Kansas City from 1995-2000

After the Houston Astros won the 2017 World Series, former Kansas City Royal outfielder Carlos Beltran announced his retirement at age 40. Beltran has assembled a strong Hall of Fame case and will be seriously considered for the honor when he becomes eligible in a few years.

But for now, it is one of Beltran’s teammates in a talented late-90s Kansas City outfield, Johnny Damon, who has become eligible for Hall of Fame voting. On November 20, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America released their 2018 Hall of Fame ballot, on which Damon appears alongside 18 other new faces and 14 returning players.

Here’s how the voting process works, from the BBWAA’s website:

Candidates must be named on 75 percent of ballots cast by selected BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of Major League Baseball coverage to gain election...Players may remain on the ballot for up to 10 years provided they receive at least five percent of the vote.

In other words, a player must appear on 75% of writers’ ballots to be selected for the Hall, and they have ten years to achieve that number. Should a player receive under five percent of the vote, they will be jettisoned from the ballot regardless of how many years they have appeared on the ballot.

The below list includes all returning players, including their year on the ballot and their 2017 vote percentage:

  • Edgar Martinez (9th, 58.6)
  • Fred McGriff (9th, 21.7)
  • Larry Walker (8th, 21.9)
  • Barry Bonds (6th, 53.8)
  • Roger Clemens (6th, 54.1)
  • Curt Schilling (6th, 45.0)
  • Sammy Sosa (6th, 8.6)
  • Jeff Kent (5th, 16.7)
  • Mike Mussina (5th, 51.8)
  • Gary Sheffield (4th, 13.3)
  • Billy Wagner (3rd, 10.2)
  • Trevor Hoffman (3rd, 74.0)
  • Vladimir Guerrero (2nd, 71.1)
  • Manny Ramirez (2nd, 23.8)

And here are the newcomers:

  • Chris Carpenter
  • Johnny Damon
  • Livan Hernandez
  • Oliver Hudson
  • Aubrey Huff
  • Jason Isringhausen
  • Andruw Jones
  • Chipper Jones
  • Carlos Lee
  • Brad Lidge
  • Hideki Matsui
  • Kevin Millwood
  • Jamie Moyer
  • Scott Rolen
  • Johan Santana
  • Jim Thome
  • Omar Vizquel
  • Kerry Wood
  • Carlos Zambrano

Damon played six seasons for the Royals from 1995 to 2000, and was part of a stellar outfield that included Beltran as well as Jermaine Dye from 1998 to 2000. After being traded to the Oakland Athletics for the 2001 season, Damon signed with the Boston Red Sox, where he assembled some highly efficient regular season campaigns and was a major part of their curse-busting 2004 World Series victory.

Damon’s championship participation continued, as he contributed as a member of the World Series victorious New York Yankees in 2009. He spent the last three years of his career bouncing around as a veteran mercenary to the Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Cleveland Indians.

Over 18 seasons in the big leagues, Damon posted a .284/.352/.433 triple slash, with 2769 hits, 235 home runs, and 408 stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star Game twice.