Johnny Damon Talks Baseball, Business + Life with Bangor Crowd [PHOTOS]
Former Boston Red Sox star Johnny Damon relived the team's magical 2004 season along with hundreds of baseball fans Thursday night at a packed Gracie Theatre in Bangor.
Damon, whose scrappy play and carefree attitude helped define that championship team -- the first in 86 years for Boston -- said breaking the curse of the Bambino was a special moment for a team that had its doubters in the Boston media.
"Our team always believed in each other," Damon told the crowd at the event, hosted by Townsquare Media Bangor and presented by Allenfarm Fence Company . "We didn't want to believe in the negative stuff."
And he said that his decision to leave the Red Sox for the New York Yankees in 2005 was a difficult one given his love for Boston and its fans.
"It was really tough," said Damon, who as a free agent said he was concerned with having a job the following year after not hearing from the Red Sox. "I was just waiting and waiting. Six weeks after the season and still nothing."
He entered talks with the Yankees, and said when the Red Sox came to him later in the off-season, they wouldn't come close to New York's offer. Despite that, Damon said he questioned his decision.
"I remember cutting off the long locks and looking at myself in that (Yankees) uniform and say, 'Oh my god. Did I make the right decision?'"
Damon said he eventually came to enjoy playing in New York and felt accepted by the fans after the Yankees' 2009 World Series win.
There were a few Yankee fans at the event, but Red Sox faithful -- many of them kids --made up the majority of the audience. One little boy asked Damon where he got his "sick ponytail," which was a little reminiscent of the long hair and beard that Damon famously donned while with the Sox.
It was clear that many in attendance -- including Paul Hosmer of Bangor -- still remembered Damon as a hero of that 2004 Red Sox team that ended that 86-year drought through which so many Sox fan suffered.
"For my grandfather and father who passed away before you guys won, just thank you for that," Hosmer said.