(This is a special guest post from a very good friend of mine named Alex. I did not ask Alex to write this, he just sent it to me one day. It is a review of Josh Hamilton’s book, which I have not read. But I trust Alex’s opinion on this. If he says it’s good, it probably is.)
(I did some minor editing, mostly adding commas where appropriate. Other than that, it is exactly as Alex wrote it. Enjoy!)
If you’re a Rangers fan (or even just a baseball fan) you’ve heard of Josh Hamilton.
He was one of the most promising high school prospects in the history of baseball and he blew it all on drugs. He was repeatedly banned from baseball and almost died several times from his addiction to crack cocaine. After years abusing his loved ones and ruining his life he turned it all around with the help of God, a strong family, and lots of forgiveness. It’s an amazing story that holds no punches as it dives into the highs and lows of Hamilton’s journey.
But I’m not here to write about his drug addiction, his fall from grace, or his miraculous recovery. Hamilton’s story has been told many times. What really shocked me was the Rangers response to his sobriety.
Hamilton had his first post-sobriety Major League season with the Reds. It was a whirlwind of a season with reporters constantly asking for interviews. It got so bad that Hamilton had to hold a press conference in every city he played in. His teammates resented the attention he got and made it verbal a few times late in the season.
But, when he was traded to the Rangers in 2008, everything changed.
With the new team came new reporters and another press conference. They were asking the same questions, “What is your story? What drugs did you use? Why would you throw everything away?” and he was answering them all when he noticed teammates Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, and Hank Blalock sitting in the back. He didn’t think anything of it – assuming they were waiting for their own press conferences – until a reporter asked,
“How many of these press conferences would you say you’ve done?”
“A lot,” Hamilton responded.
“Have you ever had your teammates show up to support you?”