Posts Tagged ‘Hamilton’

Beyond Belief; Part III

Posted by    |    March 14th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Hamilton with the Reds

For as many times as destruction and terror struck Josh Hamilton, his life, his body, and his family, perhaps there was a stroke of fate shining on the life of a young man just over five years removed from being the first of well over a thousand players chosen in the 1999 MLB draft.

Roy Silver gave Josh full access to the facilities at “The Winning Inning,” and with newfound confidence Hamilton spent many hours hitting and hitting and hitting. The swagger that was so contagious and the innocent smile from what seemed like so many years ago was starting to creep back on the scene for Josh Hamilton. Swagger and confidence were encouraging signs, but the one thing that was back in the picture for Josh was the most important of all; hope.

Hope was back. So was momentum.

Hamilton began studying and embracing Christianity, and he attributes his recovery to a strong belief in what he learned through religion. Doubles and Homers started to fill Hamilton’s free time, instead of drugs and alcohol. Josh fought extremely hard to hold off what a non-addict can only assume is a terribly irritating temptation to fill his body with hazardous substances just to achieve a “high.” (more…)

Beyond Belief; Part II

Posted by    |    March 6th, 2012 at 10:45 am

Josh Hamilton was again falling victim to what is one of the deadliest things the world has to offer; addiction. In this case, the addiction being drugs and alcohol made the situation even more complicated because of the difficulty and vigorous process it takes to kick such a habit to the curb.

After days, weeks, and even a string of months of progress, Hamilton slipped up and as said previously, he began hiding his renewed drug use from his wife Katie and family. He even pawned his wife’s ring just to get ahold of cocaine.

In the fall of 2006, the former potential face of Major League Baseball had hit rock bottom. 50 pounds lighter, a night and day personality change, and a ghostly presence that brought tears and desperation to his shriveled, weak face. Katie kicked Josh out of the house, and in the following nights Josh Hamilton wound up on street corners, in dark alleys, and appeared in the headlights of vehicles traveling on the highway in the late night/early morning hours. If this were to go on another night, perhaps there would be no more of Josh Hamilton the next day.

The next chapter of Hamilton’s incredible story is the pinnacle, and it’s grandma. Josh’s grandmother, Mary Holt, brought him into her home with open arms, the only pair that remained that way in Hamilton’s life. This was his last shot and she knew it. She, like Katie, wanted Josh better so bad but also greatly cared for the game of baseball and his passion for the game he was meant to play. But the only thing on the mind of the former top pick in all of baseball was achieving one thing – his next high. Man, those words are devastating to type.

Josh’s grandmother Mary gave Josh the final chance he would not find elsewhere and if there was to be a happy ending to Hamilton’s story, it was now or never. Mary was the only one left willing to give Josh a fighting chance. (more…)

Beyond Belief; Part 1

Posted by    |    February 28th, 2012 at 11:46 am

On Feb. 3, 2012 reports surfaced that Texas Rangers MVP superstar outfielder Josh Hamilton had suffered another relapse. Anytime a professional athlete is reported to have taken a major step back in his career, fans assume the player suffered an injury or his stats have taken a sudden dive, but this is not the case with Hamilton. This is no pulled quad or a home run drought, but a matter of life and death, a matter of drugs and alcohol.

Aside from being one of the best baseball players in the world, there is something much deeper and much more important behind what meets the eye with Hamilton, who has won a Most Valuable Player award and is also a Home Run Derby champion. For any other player, those are lifetime milestones, but Hamilton knows that anything life gives him is a bonus, because honestly, Josh should be dead – and he knows it.

Hamilton during his early stages of drug and alcohol use

Josh Hamilton’s amazing up and down story began in 1999. All his life Josh was a baseball prodigy. When he was five, he played with eight year olds. When he was eight, he played with teenagers, and so forth. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays selected him with the first pick in the 1999 MLB draft, also handing the 18 year old a record $3.6 million dollar signing bonus. The Devil Rays and pretty much all of baseball assumed Hamilton was a sure thing for many years to come. Teenage Josh Hamilton was confident, strong, tough-minded, but also kind of a mama’s boy.

Still just a kid, Hamilton lived with his parents at home and on the road. They quit their jobs to follow their son on his journey to the big leagues. This drew criticism from the harsh public media, for obvious reasons. Number one overall pick, millions of dollars, now a professional athlete –but Josh was still maturing inside and out and preferred to stay close to his family as he did all his life back in Raleigh, North Carolina. Josh’s mother, Linda, cooked her son’s meals and father Tony would go over each game with his son in the evenings. (more…)