Johnny Damon is arguably the most famous of all the notable alumni of Dr. Phillips High School. As a senior, Damon was rated the top high school baseball prospect in the nation, was named to the USA Today's All-America team and earned the prestigious Florida Gatorade Player of the Year. Damon still holds the school record of 40 runs scored in a season (1991).
Damon was drafted by the Kansas City Royals out of high school in the first round of the 1992 Major League Baseball draft. In 1995, he made his Major League debut with the Royals and quickly went 3-5 with a triple and an RBI in his first game. The success continued and so, too, did the praise. His game-tying home run against Milwaukee August 31st prompted ESPN's Dan Patrick to remark, "This kid's gonna be a star."
Damon lived up to that billing. His five full seasons with the Kansas City Royals earned him a reputation of being one of the toughest outs in the game. He consistently topped the .300 mark in batting and proved to be a terror on the basepaths. Johnny Damon could do it all.
2004 was perhaps Johnny Damon's finest year statistically and undoubtedly the most memorable year for Red Sox fans. After hitting .304 with 123 runs, 35 doubles and then-career highs of 20 home runs and 94 RBIs, Damon etched his name in Red Sox lore forever. In game seven of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees, Damon blasted a grand slam and a two-run home run to propel the Sox to the World Series. The Red Sox went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals for their first World Series title in 86 years.
Damon joined the New York Yankees in 2006 and has continued to be one of the most productive players in baseball. In 2008, he finished the year batting .303 with 17 home runs, 71 RBIs and stole 29 bases. Damon signed with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011. During his off-season, Johnny Damon finds the time to return to Dr. Phillips High School where he not only spends time with the coaching staff and players, but also continues to support the program consistently to maintain the standard of excellence he helped build nearly two decades ago.
Johnny Damon was inducted as a charter member of the Dr. Phillips Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.