NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Future Hall of Famer and occasional New Smyrna Beach resident Johnny Damon has been picked up by the Cleveland Indians for the 2012 MLB season, his sixth team.
The outfielder/DH played last season for the Tampa Rays where he batted .261 with 16 HRs and 73 RBIs in 150 games. He's played on two World Series championship teams -- the Boston Red Sox in 2004, and the New York Yankees in 2009.
Damon is one of only two modern-day players to win a championship with the Red Sox and Yankees. The other is infielder/outfielder Eric Hinske of the Atlanta Braves, who played in three consecutive World Series -- winning the championship with the Red Sox in 2007, coming up short with the Rays in 2008, and winning again with the Yankees in 2009, where he and Damon were teammates.
Besides the two rings, Damon is 277 hits shy of 3,000 for his career, a threshold recognized for potential enshrinement in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
The 38-year-old Damon could possibly achieve that in three seasons or less if he stays healthy.
Besides the Rays, Yankees and Red Sox, Damon has also played for the Detroit Tigers, the Oakland A's and the Kansas City Royals.
Because the season is under way, with the Indians at 1-4, Damon will be paid a pro-rated $1.25 million salary with another $1.4 million in performance bonuses, a source told ESPN's Buster Olney, the spots cable network reported.
Damon, who lives in Windemere with his wife and children, has a second home on the beachside of New Smyrna Beach where he has enjoyed crabbing on the North Causeway.