Former Major League Baseball star Johnny Damon is best known for his achievements in the outfield, including World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox (2004) and the New York Yankees (2009), but now he’s hoping to make a strong impression on the dance floor. He’s one of 10 sports celebs who have been cast for the special all-athletes edition of “Dancing with the Stars” starting on April 30. Will he have what it takes to win? None of the contestants have set foot in the ballroom yet, but let’s consider his pros and cons as a contender.
Only one baseball player has ever competed on “Dancing with the Stars,” and he was an unqualified success. David Ross finished second in season 24 despite relatively low scores from the judges. So his success was based mostly on his popularity with viewers voting at home. Perhaps those same MLB fans will rally behind Damon.
Damon played for seven teams over the course of his career, most notably the Red Sox and Yankees, who have some of the most passionate fans in professional sports. So Damon might have a large built-in fan base to draw on for support in advancing him through the competition.
Damon is partnered with Emma Slater, who is one of only three pro dancers this season who has won a Mirror Ball Trophy before. She prevailed in season 24 with football player Rashad Jennings. And then in season 25 she made it farther than expected with TV host Drew Scott, who finished fourth despite relatively inconsistent scores. So she might have a large fan base of her own who could vote to keep them in the competition.
Damon retired from MLB competition back in 2012, unlike David Ross who competed on “DWTS” right after winning the World Series with the Chicago Cubs. Will Damon’s fan base still be as strong as it was when he was an active player?
Of course, even if Damon gets the most viewer votes every single week, he’ll still need to keep his judges’ scores up if he wants to win. And with only Ross as an example from the world of Major League Baseball, it’s hard to predict whether he’ll have the right moves.
At age 44, Damon is older than most Mirror Ball champions. To date the oldest winner of all time was Donny Osmond, who was 51 when he prevailed in season nine. Age may be nothing but a number, but on the dance floor it can be difficult to keep up with the youngsters.
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