BOSTON (AP) — Johnny Damon finally felt welcome again at Fenway Park.
Damon received a hearty round of applause when video highlights of his days with the Red Sox played during Boston's 12-1 win over Cleveland on Sunday.
Now a member of the Indians, Damon says it was the first warm reception he's had in Boston since he left the Red Sox after the 2005 season and signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees. Boston fans have resented him ever since for not only leaving, but leaving for the team Red Sox fans love to hate.
Apparently, 6 1/2 years of animosity was enough.
"That was very special. It's the first time since I've been back that they've given me recognition for what I did with the Red Sox," Damon said after the game. "I'd like to thank the Red Sox for putting it up (on the video monitor) and I'd like to thank the fans that did applaud me and the fans that really appreciate the way I go about my business and play baseball."
Damon lifted his batting helmet in a salute during the ovation. After the game he said he was thankful to the fans who appreciated what he did with the Red Sox for four seasons, including ending an 86-year championship drought in the 2004 World Series.