Boston Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon's grand slam against the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 2004 American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium was the biggest hit of his MLB career, but he didn't show a ton of emotion rounding the bases or after crossing home plate.
The Red Sox had a 6-0 lead in the second inning, but Damon was well aware that celebrating too early was a mistake. He was on the Red Sox squad that lost a heartbreaker in Game 7 of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium the previous year. Damon wasn't going to get all excited until the final out was recorded.
"(That) has everything to do with it," Damon said on Barstool Sports' "Section 10" Red Sox podcast. "I mean, 6-0 against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, it's never safe. And I'm not that big rah-rah guy. I was taught to pretend like you've been there before. Unfortunately, some players don't have that same mentality. They're (excited) about a bloop single. But I respect the game too much. I know if there's winner, that there's a person who lost, so I always respected the game that way."
Damon did admit he "was a little bit happier after the 2-run homer, for sure." He also admitted he felt "a little more relief" rounding the bases following his second homer, which gave Boston an 8-1 lead in the fourth inning.
Check out Damon's demeanor on both home runs in the video below:
The Red Sox eventually won 10-3 to become the first MLB team to win a Best-of-7 series after trailing it 3-0. The Red Sox went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals and win their first World Series championship since 1918.
While the results are promising, it's important to note there still will be significant health and safety hurdles for the league to avoid a spread when the 60-game season begins later this month. A number of teams, including the Boston Red Sox, started workouts Friday at their home ballparks.
Sox manager Ron Roenicke said Friday the team has some positive COVID-19 cases. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez did not join the rest of the team for the first day of workouts as he was "around somebody who was sick" and awaiting the results of his own coronavirus test.
Several months after the COVID-19 pandemic put a sudden halt on spring training, the Red Sox converged on Fenway Park for the first day of Summer Camp workouts Friday.
It's the first time since World War II that the Sox have prepared for a season in the Northeast. That's when the Sox held spring training in Medford, MA (1943), Baltimore, MD (1944), and Pleasantville, NJ (1945).