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Listen to Johnny Damon


Left fielder Johnny Damon hit 24 home runs with the New York Yankees last year. Now that he’s a Tiger, he’s impressing everyone by getting hits in game after game. And he owes it all to reading! Well, his natural talent, hard work and 15 years of professional baseball experience help, too. But Damon does like to brush up on his skills with “The Science of Hitting,” a book that talks about which pitches to hit, how to hit them and how to stay focused and make smart baseball decisions. Most of the books Damon reads are about baseball, because he knows reading is a great way to learn about things you’re interested in. But Damon doesn’t keep all the baseball secrets he learns to himself. In fact, Damon, who’s 36, recently told the Detroit Free Press that one reason he’s excited to be in Detroit is the chance to inspire younger players. His goals are to “to help Miguel Cabrera become the MVP and one of the greatest hitters of this era, to teach young outfielders how to get their day going the right way and to talk baseball,” he said. When he has time to himself, Damon likes to read in a quiet place — “out in a rocking chair, out on a boat dock, those are very relaxing places to read.”


He likes “reading about politics, and Dean Koontz novels about stuff that never should happen but probably will.” And when he reads to kids, he likes classics like “Goodnight, Moon,” Dr. Seuss books and “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. When he’s not playing, Damon does a lot of giving himself. He’s been recognized several times for his charity work, and even earned the Roberto Clemente Award, which goes to a Major League Baseball player who is both a star player and devoted to giving back to the community.


One thing Damon has done many times is visit hospitals to cheer up sick kids and sign autographs. He’s also the national spokesperson of the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that helps out injured soldiers and their families. Damon even set up his own organization, the Johnny Damon Foundation, to provide opportunities for kids who are disadvantaged.


When he played with the Yankees, Damon donated money to the Children’s Health Fund every single time he or one of his team- mates hit a home run. And that’s a lot of home runs!


Tigers left fielder Johnny Damon keeps his hitting skills sharp with advice from the book “The Science of Hitting.”


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