When people think about addiction, they think of people who have had a substance or chemical take over their lives and send them into a downward spiral. When people think of Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers, they think of a man who might as well have defied gravity. It was not an easy trip to the Major Leagues but Josh Hamilton got there and he isn’t going anywhere.
Originally selected 1st overall by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 1999 draft, Hamilton had a lot of buzz around his name and what he was going to become after such a successful high school career. His early appearances in the minor leagues were very promising to baseball fans everywhere and what was supposed to be such a successful stint with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and a possible change to a struggling organization suddenly took a turn for the worst, when Hamilton was placed on the DL with a back injury in 2001.
Hamilton found himself hanging out with people who would not only be a bad influence on his career but on his life in general. He was experimenting with drugs like crack-cocaine, as well as experimenting with alcohol. By 2005, he was near the lowest possible point he could have arrived at. He showed up at his grandmother’s house, deflated from what he used to be and his face was corpse-like, almost as if he had just been spooked by a ghost.
With constant motivation and inspiration from his family and friends, Hamilton was finally back on the right track to turning his life around and possibly getting it to where it should have been by this point. The Devil Rays placed him on waivers after Major League Baseball reinstated him after being clean for eight months since his stint in rehab. The Chicago Cubs selected Hamilton in the Rule 5 Draft but prearranged a deal with the Cincinnati Reds who were able to pick up the rookie for $20,000.
The Reds later traded Hamilton to the Texas Rangers after a wrist injury cut the rookie’s season short. After just one month into his first season with the Rangers, all of baseball suddenly knew who Josh Hamilton was. Batting .330 with six homeruns and 32 RBIs, he was selected to take part in the 2008 Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium and impressed the world as he hit a monstrous 28 dingers in the first round. Although he lost to Justin Morneau of the Twins in the final round, fans everywhere witnessed exactly what it was the scouts saw in Hamilton when he had all the hype surrounding his name prior to draft day.
Coming off one of his best seasons yet in his short career, Hamilton batted .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBI’s while finishing with an on-base percentage of .411. He was named the ALCS MVP last season and now dedicates his time in the off-season to his non-profit Christian organization, Triple Play Ministries, where they support people going through life-changing experiences through the awesome power of Jesus Christ.
Josh Hamilton is an inspiration to all and truly teaches the meaning of never giving up. He has shown the world that when even at the lowest point in your life, there is still hope that you can turn it all around and have brighter days come your way. He has taught us about addiction and turning your back on it. He has shown us what bad can come from addiction and the dark places that it can take you and he has definitely shown us what good can come when you fight through your toughest battles and never give up.
To learn more about Josh Hamilton’s Triple Play Ministries, visit www.tripleplayministries.com
To learn more about addiction, visit www.camh.net