Cleveland Indians: Will Johnny Damon Reach 3,000 Hits with the Tribe?

Bill FordCorrespondent IIIApril 19, 2012

ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 03:  Johnny Damon #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays heads to third base in the seventh inning on a Casey Kotchman #11 single before scoring the Rays second run later in the inning against the Texas Rangers in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 3, 2011 in St Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Major League Baseball veteran Johnny Damon signed on with the Cleveland Indians recently, and is currently training at the Indians' facility in Goodyear, AZ.

The elite status of making it to the 3,000-hit club distinguishes players and potentially increases the possibility of being inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

Reaching that elite status is actually not that far off for Damon. The 17-year veteran needs just 277 hits to reach the exclusive 3,000-hit mark.

With his recent signing with Cleveland, Damon could potentially reach the 3,000-hit milestone by the end of the 2013 season. If he is able to accomplish that goal, it will make him the 29th player in MLB history to do so.

Although all eyes will be on him as he inches closer and closer, Damon maintains that he doesn't play with the intention of getting 3,000 hits. 

Damon plays to win.

Damon said, "I'm playing for all the fans out there. So 3,000 could be on the horizon, but if it comes or not, when I leave this game I want to make sure there's no regrets out there. As long as I keep doing what I did last year, and hopefully this is a successful year, I'm going to keep going."

Assuming all goes well with his training in Goodyear, he will likely get the opportunity to play with the Tribe early in May.

Damon has had a long, productive MLB career. He may be in the twilight of his career, but he still has plenty of power to have a solid season or two with Cleveland.

We should see Damon hit the 3,000 mark sometime in 2013, barring any injuries.

Damon deserves the honor.