Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Damon thanks Red Sox fans in newspaper ad

Associated Press

BOSTON -- Johnny Damon is trying to mend fences with Red Sox fans.

Johnny Damon
Damon

The former Boston center fielder, who defected to the rival New York Yankees in December, took out a full-page newspaper advertisement in The Boston Globe sports section Wednesday thanking fans.

"Many thanks to the great fans of New England and the city of Boston. It was a privilege and an honor," the ad said.

The message, written as a letter with Damon's signature at the end, is superimposed over a photo of him in action.

Damon incurred the wrath of legions of Red Sox loyalists in December when he signed a $52 million, four-year contract with the Yankees. A two-time All-Star, in 2004 Damon helped the Red Sox win their first World Series title since 1918.

His appeal extended beyond his hitting and fielding. Damon's long locks and facial hair earned him a cult-like following in Boston, where he helped symbolize the free-spirited team that dubbed itself the "Idiots."