Originally the No. 1 overall pick of the 1999 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, Hamilton scorched his way through the minor leagues up until 2001 when his well-documented problems with alcohol and drug addiction derailed a promising career.
After going through a painful and extensive rehabilitation process, Hamilton returned to the majors with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, and has been at the forefront of the game’s best ever since.
This doesn’t mean the demons abandoned him.
During this past off-season, Hamilton had a relapse with alcohol at a Dallas establishment, which again called into question his ability to stay sober and focused on his career.
The incident was particularly difficult given the media attention which surrounded it, and the delicacy of not only Hamilton’s sobriety, but his public image in light of past indiscretions.
As he always seems to, though, Josh Hamilton has landed on his feet after convincing the Rangers, and their fans, he was done with the booze and was all-in.
Last night’s four home run performance against the Baltimore Orioles placed Hamilton in very exclusive company in the history of the game, among greats like Mike Schmidt, Willie Mays, and Lou Gehrig.
In Josh Hamilton we see ourselves.
We all fail.
We all seek to redeem ourselves from those failures.
Hamilton is a living example of constant perseverance in the face of challenge regardless how hopeless at times, it may seem.
I for one, can’t wait to see what he does next.