Torii Hunter Understands And Hurts For Josh Hamilton
Last week we wrote a piece on Josh Hamilton, and his unfortunate relapse with drugs and alcohol. While the narrative was largely in reference to baseball being for the worse without Hamilton, it also drove home just how sad addiction can be. For the Twins and Torii Hunter, understanding the situation may be quite an understatement.
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Thanks to a brilliant piece published Sunday by Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, we are reminded that Torii Hunter not only understands what Hamilton is going through, but he’s lived with it. Hunter’s own father struggles with drug addiction, and has been a user in Hunter’s life more years than he hasn’t been.
Nightengale quotes Hunter explaining the feeling in saying, “It’s like a demon that takes over you. It grabs a hold of my dad all of the time. Sometimes, we don’t know where he is. He went missing for three months last summer. Once you’re on it, you’re never off. It stays with you. That’s why I’m praying for Josh right now.”
At this point, and much like we were reminded last week, no longer is this about Josh Hamilton the baseball player. Torii Hunter helps us to remember that at this point, it’s about Hamilton’s life and him as a person.
Through Hamilton’s book it’s easy to see that he is a good person. Sharing his demons and putting them on full display, it’s hard not to feel a connection to a man who has overcome so much. Right now though, Hamilton is in a fight for his life, and the crossroads will once again dictate how he continues to live his days on the Earth. Hamilton made the mistake of getting involved in the first place, but he is now having to deal with the fallout that is the real fear of addiction.
Hunter gets it however, he supplies a notion that rings truer than many would be led to believe. Addiction is such a powerful emotion, and whether it’s drugs or something else, it eats at an individual. Separating yourself from addiction is very difficult, but providing distractions may be exactly what Hamilton needs to continue to fight.
Torii says of Hamilton, “Look, baseball might be the game that saves him. What I noticed with my dad is that when he’s busy, and does not have down time, he’s good. When he’s not busy, he goes straight to it. He feels alone.”
Although Josh Hamilton has relapsed twice before since being reinstated to Major League Baseball, this time is the first involving cocaine. As Hunter understands in having experienced issues with his own father, getting Hamilton back on track is something the entire baseball world wants.
Hunter shares a special connection to the Hamilton and Angels story, as it was his departure that allowed the signing to happen. In the end, you can add Torii Hunter to the list of people pulling for Hamilton, and the Twins outfielder gets exactly where he is coming from.
Next: Baseball Dinged As Josh Hamilton Stumbles
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