Former Royal Johnny Damon among those on Hall of Fame ballot for first time

The Baseball Writers Association of American released its 2018 Hall of Fame Ballot on Monday, and former Royals outfielder Johnny Damon was on it in his first year of eligibility.

The full ballot includes fellow newcomers Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Jamie Moyer and Johan Santana. Results of the election will be announced Jan. 24 on MLB Network.

In 803 games spanning six seasons in Kansas City, Damon hit .292 with 65 home runs and 352 RBIs. He also stole 156 bases, with his season high of 46 coming in 2000, his final year in a Royals uniform. He led the league in stolen bases and runs scored (136) that year.

Before Whit Merrifield stole a league-best 34 bases in 2017, Damon was the last Royal to lead the American League in the category.

After saying he didn’t want to continue his career in Kansas City, Damon played for the Athletics (2001), Red Sox (2002-05), Yankees (2006-09), Tigers (2010), Rays (2011) and Indians (2012). He finished in the top 20 in MVP voting four times, was an All-Star twice and won a World Series with the Red Sox (2004) and Yankees (2009). In 59 postseason games, Damon hit .276 with 12 doubles, 10 homers and 33 RBIs.

Damon, who was born in Fort Riley, Kan., was drafted by the Royals out of his Orlando high school in 1992. He debuted at the end of the 1995 season.

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