Johnny Damon was born in Kansas. His mother, Yome, is Thai and his father, Jimmy, is a Caucasian American of Croatian and Irish descent. He was an Army brat most of his childhood and eventually settled in Orlando, Florida for his senior year of high school. He was rated the top high school prospect in the country by Baseball America, named to USA Today’s High School All-America team, and selected as Florida Gatorade Player of the Year.
Straight from high school, Johnny Damon was drafted in the first round by the Kansas City Royals in 1992. After stint with the Royals and Athletics, he landed with the Boston Red Sox. In 2004, Damon was instrumental in helping the Boston Red Sox win their first championship in 86 years. (He hit a grand slam against the Yankees in the ALCS.) He caught a lot of flack from Boston fans when he signed with the Yankees in 2005.
Boston Red Sox Johnny Damon
New York Yankees Johnny Damon
During the 2004 post-season, Johnny Damon was compared to looking like Jesus.
After being with New York for three seasons now, most people know Johnny Damon as one of the leaders of the Yankees. However, away from baseball, the outfielder is an active leader in the Thai community, trying to get more Asian athletes involved in the sport. Even though he’s not generally thought of as an Asian athlete, he takes pride in being an Asian American role model.
Watch Johnny Damon in this special report: