Rangers Josh Hamilton on comeback: It’s a God thing

Published 8:52 am Friday, November 7, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — It was a very simple answer to very complex questions, but for Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton the phrase “It’s a God thing” covered all the bases.
The 2008 All-Star and Raleigh native visited the Rock Springs Center in Greenville on Thursday to speak at The Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ annual fall fund-raising banquet, and spoke about his with drug addiction and his rise struggle back to baseball glory.
Hamilton was the first overall pick in the 1999 amateur draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and received a then-record signing bonus of $3.96 million.
For Hamilton, who was drafted right out of high school, it wasn’t too long before he had a drug addiction and was out of baseball.
With the help of God, his family and friends, Hamilton was able to overcome his addiction, and was traded to the Reds in 2007 where he played his rookie season.
Hamilton showed promise in his first year in Cincinnati, but was traded to the Texas Rangers in the off-season for pitcher Edison Volquez.
It was at Texas where Hamilton bloomed. The outfielder batted .304 with 32 home runs, and was named to the All-Star team. Hamilton also provided baseball with one of the most inspirational moments in recent history when he bashed a record 28 home runs in the first round of the Home Run Derby, which would be the last ever at Yankee Stadium.
It was the most home runs in one round since Bobby Abreu hit 24.
Though Twins’ first baseman Justin Morneau won the Derby, Hamilton’s performance made him an instant household name. Hamilton said he would like to use his new found celebrity to help spread the word of God.
Since his sobriety, Hamilton has been routinely asked how he was able overcome his drug addiction and accomplish some terrific feats on and off.
The interest in Hamilton’s trial and tribulations has been so great that he decide to put out a book to give fans more of an in depth answer to questions that they might have, and to provide inspiration to those that seek it.
Hamilton’s book “Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back” is on sale now and can be bought at Barnes and Noble.