Baseball Dinged As Josh Hamilton Stumbles


Baseball is the greatest game on the face of the earth, and for most fans, loving the sport goes far beyond casually observing a game on any given day. Researching, reading, and soaking up every story the game has to offer is what truly brings baseball to life. In recent memory, there may be no more polarizing story surrounding the game than that of Josh Hamilton‘s background.

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If you haven’t read Beyond Belief, I strongly urge you to do so. You can buy it here from Amazon (no this is not an advertisement). Rarely does an athlete humble themselves to the point of showing you their demons so up close and personal. Through reading his book, I was able to gain a new level of understanding when it comes to drug addiction, and just how scary that path can be. Josh Hamilton makes himself vulnerable, and all those who read through the pages of the journey are better for doing so.

While Beyond Belief discusses Josh Hamilton the Ranger, we have progressed beyond those chapters in time. After returning to Major League Baseball and rising to the cream of the crop, Hamilton was able to land a long-term deal with the Los Angeles Angels. After a couple of down seasons with the Angels, we’ve now added a few more pages to the story.

Yesterday, reports surfaced that Hamilton was meeting with Major League Baseball in regards to an issue that was not related to performance enhancing drugs. With his background, speculation was hard to ignore, and then Jon Heyman broke the news.

This is where things turn sad. As someone who has never had to experience addiction first hand, I find myself feeling for Josh Hamilton the human being, and the ballplayer. A guy who has overcome so much, to once again fall, is not something you ever want to see. While the mistakes Hamilton made in his life that allowed him to take this path aren’t something anyone would commend, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would deny be proud of the triumph that was Hamilton overcoming those demons. The relapse serves as a reminder that for some, the struggles of the past are really only as far behind you as you put them.

As Josh Hamilton stood on top of the world at Yankees Stadium in 2008 as he put on an incredible 28 home run performance in the first round of the derby, baseball saw a man filled with joy. Someone who had experienced the lowest depths of life, now seemingly stood on the polar opposite end of the spectrum. Today we are reminded that tough decisions and choosing the right path is daily process, and for those dealing with other issues, the struggle is only magnified.

The point of Josh Hamilton’s situation and his fall is not to make him out as a king, but instead to shed light on the unfortunate reality that addiction is a scary issue and something that no one is bigger than. Here’s to hoping that Hamilton turning himself in is the first step in him getting the help he needs to once again rise above.

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