“Every time I see Johnny quoted or on TV, he always seems to say the right thing. I like him. You can tell he’s a good guy."
—Former All-Star Don Mattingly

"Basically, you just wind him up and send him out there."
—Former Royals GM Allard Baird

"He is one of the true free spirits in baseball."
—Sportswriter Howard Bryant

"He’s one of the best."
—All-Star Miguel Tejada

"People don’t realize that he’s the guy who makes it all happen here."
—Red Sox coach Ron Jackson

"He just doesn’t miss the ball in sure fastball situations."
—Former big-league manager Gene Mauch

"You can’t believe how hard he plays."
—Red Sox GM Theo Epstein

"Johnny was my favorite player, because he would play anywhere, do anything you asked, and he showed up every single day to play."
—Royals coach Frank White

"He’s a coach’s dream. He’ll do whatever it takes to make himself better and to make the team better."
—Royals executive Bob Hegman

"He changes the dynamics of the Red Sox."
—Former All-Star Tommy Harper

"He’s the nicest guy in the world."
—Former teammate Gabe Kapler

"I love Johnny Damon."
—Former O's manager Lee Mazzilli

"He plays as hard as he can, every play of every inning of every game."
—Former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling

"When you have that type of leadoff guy, who can get on and steal a base, it puts pressure on the pitcher."
—Former teammate Nomar Garciaparra

"He’s such a threat. You get a guy like that on base, and all of a sudden you’re having to do slide-steps to the plate. The whole timing of the game is shut down."
—Braves ace Tim Hudson

"He’s the guy that when you’re playing against, you don't want him leading off the ninth inning."
—Former teammate Brian Daubach

"I knew he’d provide a competitive difference."
—Former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette

"Johnny has natural speed, but he's always aware of the situation...he makes the best out of his base-running abilities."
—Red Sox coach Dallas Williams

"Just say it—'Johnny Damon.' It sounds like a guy in a leather jacket riding a Harley. A hero’s name."
—Royals PR executive Mike Levy

"The Red Sox have never boasted any speed. They’ve mainly been a one-dimensional offense, with a history of waiting for that one big inning. Johnny gives them speed, which makes them that much tougher."
—Former Yankees manager Joe Torre

"When you play aggressive like that and you know what you're doing out there, something's going to happen."
—Yankees closer Mariano Rivera

"We know Johnny is a free spirit, but we got him here because he’s a great player, not because he’s a free spirit."
—Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson

 


Don Mattingly postcard

 


Frank White, 1978 Topps

 


Curt Schilling,
2004 Sports Illustrate
d

 


Reggie Jackson,
Black Book Partners archives


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