Damon takes charity to new level
Given $20 for ball, left fielder passes winnings to young fan
BOSTON -- Note to fans angling to bring home souvenirs: Johnny Damon may be listening.
Then again, when planning your excursion to see the Yankees at your local ballpark, it would be unwise to bank on a repeat of events from Thursday's series finale in Toronto.
In a bizarre gesture widely replayed on television, Damon snagged a Gregg Zaun fly ball to end the second inning, then sold it to a fan in the front row down the left-field line at Rogers Centre for a $20 Canadian bill. Damon then jogged further toward the left-field corner and gave the proceeds to a young boy.
"It's his money now," said Damon, who was quoted as saying that he hoped the boy would buy a Yankees cap. "We'll see. I was definitely going to turn that money down, especially from a guy who was heckling me."
Damon said that his attention had been diverted by constant verbal abuse from the left-field line at Rogers Centre, which has not been necessarily uncommon in recent years. He later wandered to the Blue Jays bullpen between innings, recounting the tale.
"They were just on me the whole game," Damon said. "So some guy yells, 'I'll give you $20 for a ball.' I said, 'Sure.' But I wasn't going to keep that. I found some random kid and gave it to him."
The Yankees have had their share of run-ins with the Blue Jays in recent years, including one blip this week in which fans playing a video game on the center-field scoreboard between innings intentionally threw at a digital Alex Rodriguez. Informed of the events the next day, Rodriguez was mildly amused, asking if his virtual self had stolen second base after being plunked.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.