The story of Josh Hamilton’s life and career is one of the most interesting stories you will find in Major League Baseball, or perhaps all of professional sports. According to a deadline.com report, it is so interesting that it appears that plans are in place to convert his story into a movie primed for the big screens of Hollywood.
Hamilton has already released a book entitled “Beyond Belief” that tracks his ascension to being a #1 overall draft choice to his descent into alcohol and drug addiction and back to his rehabilitation and reinstatement into baseball. Certainly, the movie will cover many of the same topics, though the report does not mention the movie being tied directly to the book. The writer and director of the movie will be Casey Affleck, who has an impressive résumé as an actor, but has limited experience behind the camera.
The possibility of a movie about Hamilton incites a grab bag of questions regarding its contents. Will Hamilton be portrayed as a real-life Roy Hobbs (from “The Natural”)? What kind of a glimpse might it provide into the darkest times in Hamilton’s life? What will be the pinnacle of the movie, perhaps the 2008 Home Run Derby? Who might portray Hamilton (last I checked there aren’t many 6-foot-4, 240 pound actors in Hollywood)? How much of the focus will be on Hamilton’s faith? Will it be a true sports movie, or will the sports side of the story be handled more conceptually without game action? Will it be any good? At this point, the questions far outweigh the answers.
Additionally, the timing of the inception of the Josh Hamilton movie is intriguing. Hamilton is still in the prime of his playing days, is just four months from entering free agency for the first time, is just four months removed from an alcohol relapse, is in the middle of the best season of his career, and is on a Texas Rangers team that is looking to reach its third consecutive World Series and become the first team to lose back-to-back World Series and win a third straight appearance since the 1923 Yankees. There are already plenty of things going on in Josh Hamilton’s life. One has to wonder how the added distraction of co-producing a movie (along with his wife, Katie, according to the report) will impact his other current responsibilities. It might also be interesting to imagine the impact of Hamilton working on a movie might have on his current teammates and coaches, as well as his future team if it is different than the Rangers.
Hamilton and his wife are certainly doing all that they can to use the story of his issues with drugs and alcohol to impact the lives of others in a positive way. They must be congratulated and recognized for that. Josh Hamilton has overcome many things in his life. He has learned how to manage and deal with the addictions he suffers from. Compared to the road he has traveled thus far, perhaps the distraction of a movie about his life will hardly be a blip on his radar. It may not have an impact on his on-field performance because of that, but only time will tell.