With the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) not electing anyone into the Hall of Fame this year, I though it would be a good time to look at some possible former and current KC Royals players who could get enshrined in Cooperstown in the future. It is probably wishful thinking because it is highly doubtful I will see a Royals player inducted into the HOF in my lifetime.
Outfielder Johnny Damon. If and when he actually retires, the five year clock will start. That means that Damon could be on the 2018 ballot (at the earliest). There was a bit of a debate last year, but he still has not reached the “magical” 3,000 hit plateau (currently at 2,769 hits).
Damon has the playoff pedigree, as he won World Series titles with both Boston (2004) and the NY Yankees (2009).
If Damon were to not play again, he would be a career .284 hitter with 1,668 runs scored and 408 stolen bases. He has also hit 235 homeruns and driven in 1,139.
In his final season with the Royals (2000), he led the American League in runs scored (136) and stolen bases (46), and was second in the league in hits with 214. He was a two-time All-Star with the Red Sox (2002 and 2005). In 2002, Damon was the first player selected by fans in the inaugural All-Star Final Vote.
His best year was in 2004 when he hit .304 with 20 homeruns and 94 RBIs. He was also key to the Red Sox first World Series championship in 86 years.
Damon hit the DL for the first time in his career in July 2008 and at the time was one of only three active players to play at least ten years without heading to the DL.
Since his playing career with the Yankees came to an end following another championship in 2009, Damon has bounced around. He played with Detroit in 2010 and reached a few milestones: his 1,000th career RBI (fittingly against the Royals) and his 2,500th career hit against Baltimore. He moved on to Tampa Bay in 2011 and then Cleveland in 2012, where he was released in August and has not played since (besides for Thailand in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier).