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Josh Hamilton returns to face the Texas Rangers and his former fans

Tim Heltman: USA TODAY Sports

It’s a day that Texas Rangers fans had been waiting on for several months. Ever since Josh Hamilton, who left the ball club to play for the rival Los Angeles Angels, made some not-so-flattering comments about the team, the town and it’s fans, Rangers fans have been nipping at the bud, awaiting his return to the Ballpark at Arlington. Today, in the Rangers home opener vs. the Angels, they finally got their chance.

During the offseason, angered at Josh’s comments that Texas “wasn’t even a baseball town,” fans started a movement across social media that called for “Silence for Josh,” encouraging fans to remain silent and read a newspaper when he stepped up to bat. Silence, they argued would “speak” much louder than boos. Shirts with “Baseball Town” were printed up and ordered by fans who took offense to Hamilton’s comments.

So, would fans remain silent with the former Rangers stepped up to the plate? Would they boo?

While several sections did in fact stay silent and read the paper, most of the rabid fans stood when Hamilton stepped up to the plate for the first time, and for four straight pitches, booed continually. On the fourth pitch, as Hamilton went down swinging, the crowd erupted in cheers and jeers.

The day didn’t get much better for Hamilton as the game progressed.

The second time around, he again struck out; in his last bat, with the game tied, Hamilton flied out finishing 0-4 on the day. Each time, he was met with boos reigning down from across the stadium. Chants of “Baseball Town” filled the air as well.

Making matters worse, Hamilton’s new team fell to his old team by a score of 3-2.

After the game, Hamilton seemed shocked at his welcome, comparing himself to Jesus in the way that he too was “booed in his hometown.” He also told the media that the crowd was louder than any playoff game he’s ever played, but added even more fuel to the fire when he said he wouldn’t take back his comments until the fans “can fill the place every night for 30 years.”

Arlington may never be an historic baseball town such Boston or Chicago, but Texas Ranger fans love their team and they love their players. And apparently, as Josh Hamilton can tell you, they don’t take too kindly to people saying otherwise.


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