Johnny Damon to compete in all-athlete season of Dancing with the Stars
Johnny Damon's wheels helped carry him to a .352 on-base percentage, 408 stolen bases, and two World Series rings over his 18-year MLB career - but this spring, he'll look to his legs to help him bring home a slightly different ball-related trophy.
Damon was announced Friday as one of 10 competitors on the upcoming 26th season of Dancing with the Stars, which for the first time will feature an all-athlete cast. Damon is paired with pro Emma Slater, who won the Mirror Ball Trophy in Season 24 with ex-NFL running back Rashad Jennings, and he will be the second ex-MLB star to appear on the show, following catcher David Ross, who was the runner-up to Jennings last spring.
Unlike in seasons past, this edition of DWTS will be compressed, kicking off on April 30 and running for just four weeks, with two couples eliminated each week.
The all-athlete cast presents Damon and Slater with some stiff competition, as the other nine contestants include six recent or former Olympians - including luger Chris Mazdzer, who became the first American singles luger to win a medal when he claimed silver in PyeongChang in February - as well as Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and women's basketball player Arike Ogunbowale, who led Notre Dame to the NCAA National Championship less than two weeks ago.
Singer Jordan Fisher is the reigning DWTS champ, but whoever takes home the Mirror Ball Trophy next month will be the 11th athlete in 26 seasons to win Dancing with the Stars; Jennings was the last, and that group also includes three other NFL stars, five Olympic athletes, and race car driver Helio Castroneves.