Josh Hamilton (baseball): Wikis


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Josh Hamilton

Texas Rangers — No. 32
Left field
Born: May 21, 1981 (1981-05-21) (age 28)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Bats: Left Throws: Left 
MLB debut
April 3, 2007 for the Cincinnati Reds
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .292
Home runs     61
Runs batted in     231
Career highlights and awards

Joshua Holt Hamilton (born May 21, 1981, in Raleigh, North Carolina) is a Major League Baseball All Star outfielder for the Texas Rangers.

Hamilton played baseball growing up in North Carolina. He was the first overall pick in the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.[1] He was considered a blue chip prospect until injuries and a drug addiction derailed his career in 2001. Prior to the 2007 season, Hamilton was selected by the Chicago Cubs (picking for the Cincinnati Reds) in the Rule 5 Draft.[2] He made his MLB debut in 2007 with the Reds and had a successful rookie season. During the off-season he was traded to the Texas Rangers for Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera.[3]

After his torrid start to the 2008 season, Hamilton was named to the American League All Star team. He also participated in the Home Run Derby, where he hit a record 28 home runs in the opening round and finished with 35 home runs, which was second-most all-time in derby history.[4][5]


Minor leagues

Hamilton signed with Tampa Bay, receiving a $4 million signing bonus, and joined their minor league system.[1][6] His first stop in the minors was the rookie level Princeton Devil Rays of the Appalachian League where he played 56 games. He later joined the Hudson Valley Renegades, and helped lead them to their first New York-Penn League championship. After this successful debut in professional baseball, he spent the 2000 season with the Charleston RiverDogs in the South Atlantic League.[7] At the start of his pro career, Hamilton's parents quit their jobs so they could travel with their son.[8]

Prior to the 2001 season, Hamilton was involved in a car accident. His mother and father were also injured in the accident, but they recuperated from their injuries. The 2001 season also marked the beginning of his drug and alcohol use, so he made his first attempt at rehab.[8] Hamilton only played 45 games in the 2001 season, split between Charleston (A-Ball) and the Orlando Rays, a AA team in the Southern League. Hamilton began the 2002 season with the Bakersfield Blaze, batting .303 with 9 home runs and 44 RBIs in 56 games before his season came to an end due to lingering toe and neck injuries.[7]

At the start of the 2003 season, Hamilton showed up late several times during spring training and was reassigned to the team's minor league camp. He left the team and resurfaced several times, but eventually took the rest of the season off for personal reasons. Hamilton was hoping to return to spring training with the Devil Rays in 2004, but he was suspended 30 days and fined for violating the drug policy put in place by MLB. Because of the length of his suspension, and the terms of the drug policy, Hamilton must have failed two or more drug tests after being put into the program. A "failed" test is one in which there is a positive result for a drug more severe than marijuana.[9] The suspension was increased several times, after repeated violations of the terms of the program.[10]

From 2004 until 2006, Hamilton did not play baseball at all. He made several attempts at rehab, and started off the 2005 season with hopes of being a star major league outfielder.[11] His return to baseball was helped along by former minor league outfielder and manager Roy Silver, who owns a baseball academy in Florida. After hearing about Hamilton's desire to return to baseball, Silver offered the use of his facility if Hamilton agreed to work there. After several months there, Hamilton attempted to play with an independent minor league team, but MLB stepped in and disallowed it.

Hamilton was allowed to work out with the Devil Rays minor league players starting on June 2, 2006. By the end of the month, he was allowed to participate in minor league games.[6][10] He played 15 games with the Hudson Valley Renegades at the end of the 2006 season.[7][12] In addition to returning to baseball, Hamilton also served as a cautionary tale for his young teammates with the Renegades. Rick Zolzer, the Renegades' director of special events, said of Hamilton: ""He pointed (the other players) in the right direction. He said, 'Don't make the mistakes I made.' He was so good with all of the young kids."[12]

Rule 5 Draft

Left off the Devil Rays' 40-man roster, Hamilton was selected third overall [2] in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft by the Chicago Cubs, who immediately traded him to the Cincinnati Reds for $100,000 ($50,000 for his rights, and $50,000 to cover the cost of the Rule 5 selection).[12][13] In their coverage of the draft, Chris Kline and John Manuel of Baseball America called Hamilton "the biggest name in the Rule 5 in years."[14]

Cincinnati Reds (2007)

In order to retain the rights to Hamilton, the Reds had to keep him on their Major League 25-man roster for the entire 2007 season. He was one of the Reds' best hitters in spring training, leaving camp with a .403 batting average. As a result, he won a spot on the Reds' Opening Day roster;[15] the Reds planned to use him as a fourth outfielder.[16] Hamilton started most of the time in center field after an injury to Ryan Freel.

Hamilton made his long-awaited Major League debut on April 2 against the Chicago Cubs in a pinch-hit appearance, receiving a 22-second standing ovation. After he lined out, Hamilton stayed in the game to play left field.[17] As he was waiting to bat, Cubs catcher Michael Barrett said "'You deserve it, Josh. Take it all in, brother. I'm happy for you."[1][18] He made his first start on April 10 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, batting lead off. In that game, he recorded his first Major League hit, a home run off Edgar Gonzalez. The next night, he hit another. Hamilton was named the National League Rookie of the Month for April.

On May 22, the Reds placed Hamilton on the 15-day disabled list with gastroenteritis; they activated him on June 5 after he batted .333 (8-for-24) with four home runs and six RBI in a six-game Minor League rehabilitation assignment.[19] Hamilton went back on the DL on July 12 with a sprained wrist.[20]

He was shut out in the voting for the Rookie of the Year, which was won by Ryan Braun.[21]

Texas Rangers (2008–present)

Hamilton swinging his bat

On December 21, 2007, the Reds traded Hamilton to the Texas Rangers for Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera.[3][22]


In 2008, Hamilton locked up the Rangers starting center fielder job with a stellar spring training.[23] His spring training performance proceeded to follow into the regular season. Hamilton, usually slotted fourth in the Texas batting order, led all Major League players in RBI for the month of April. He was named American League Player of the Month after hitting .330 with 32 RBI during the month. Hamilton then went on to win player of the month for the second straight month in May, becoming the first American League player in baseball history to be awarded Player of the Month for the first two months of the season.[24] Hamilton was featured on the cover of the June 2, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated, in a story chronicling his comeback.[1] On July 9, 2008 Josh Hamilton hit the first walk-off home run of his career against Francisco Rodríguez.[25][26]

Fans selected Hamilton as one of the starting outfielders for the American League at the MLB All Star Game at Yankee Stadium. He finished first in voting among the outfielders to clinch his spot.[27] He was one of seven first-time starters in the game. Along with Kosuke Fukudome, Geovany Soto, and Ryan Braun, he will be one of four who made their MLB debut 2007 or 2008.[28] He was selected to participate in the 2008 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby the evening before the game. Hamilton selected 71 year old Clay Council to throw to him during the Derby. Council [29] was a volunteer who threw batting practice for him as a child in Raleigh, North Carolina.[30] In the first round of the event Hamilton hit 28 home runs, breaking the single round record of 24 set by Bobby Abreu in 2005.[31][5] Hamilton ended up hitting the most total home runs in the contest with 35, but lost in the final round to Justin Morneau, as the scores were reset.[32] His record setting first round included 13 straight home runs at one point, and three that went further than 500 feet. His longest home run was 518 feet.[5][32] In 2006, when Hamilton was trying to get back into baseball, he had a dream where he participated in a Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium, but he could not remember how many home runs he had hit. After the Derby, Hamilton said: "This, was like living the dream out, because like I've said, I didn't know the ending to that dream."[33] On August 17, he was intentionally walked with the bases loaded against the Rays in the bottom of the ninth, with the Rays leading 7-3, to bring Marlon Byrd to the plate. The Rays went on to win the game 7-4. Hamilton became only the sixth player in history to have that feat. Joe Maddon said after the game "We didn't want Hamilton to hit a home run. He's got 28, and Marlon Byrd's got 8." Hamilton finished seventh in the balloting for AL MVP, behind Dustin Pedroia, Justin Morneau, Kevin Youkilis, Joe Mauer, Carlos Quentin, and Francisco Rodríguez.[34]


In spring training, Hamilton led all players in RBIs, with 27, and total bases, with 59, in 81 at bats. Hamilton hit a 460 ft. home run into the right field home run porch off of Angels reliever Shane Loux in the bottom of the eighth inning on May 15 in Arlington. Then, in the same series against the Angels, on May 17, Hamilton leapt at the wall in center field and slammed into it, robbing Howie Kendrick of a possible home run.[35]

Hamilton spent a portion of 2009 on the disabled list, with a bruised rib cage and an abdominal strain. After visiting doctors in Philadelphia on June 8, 2009, they found a slight abdominal tear, and he underwent a successful surgical operation to repair it the next day. He was expected to be out 4–6 weeks.

Even though he was injured, he was selected by fan voting to go to the 2009 All-Star game,[36][37] where he was joined by teammates Michael Young and Nelson Cruz.

Personal life



Josh Hamilton is married to Katie Hamilton (née Chadwick), the daughter of one of the men (Michael Chadwick) who helped him in his quest to get clean. They started dating in 2002, when Hamilton returned to Raleigh.[38] They married in 2004.[39] Katie has a daughter, Julia, from a previous relationship, and together Josh and Katie have two daughters, Sierra and Michaela Grace[40] (Hamilton left during the middle of the Texas-Boston game on August 13, 2008, after hearing reports that Katie was in labor).[22] They went through a period of estrangement when Josh had a relapse of his drug use, but once he became clean again in 2005, they reunited.


Hamilton's struggles with drugs and alcohol are well documented. He finally got clean after being confronted by his grandmother, Mary Holt.[41] Hamilton says he hasn't used drugs or alcohol since October 6, 2005.[1] When giving a brief summary of his recovery Hamilton says simply "It's a God thing."[18] He does not shy away from telling his story, speaking to community groups and fans at many different functions. He frequently and publicly tells stories of how Jesus has brought him back from the brink and that faith is what keeps him going.[39] His wife Katie sometimes accompanies him, offering her perspective on his struggles as well.[22] To go along with the provisions of MLB's drug policy, Hamilton provides urine samples for drug testing at least three times per week.[42] Rangers' coach Johnny Narron says of the frequent testing: "I think he looks forward to the tests. He knows he's an addict. He knows he has to be accountable. He looks at those tests as a way to reassure people around him who had faith."[39] Hamilton approaches the plate at Texas Rangers home games to the song "Saved The Day" by Christian group Phillips, Craig and Dean.[43] In late 2008 Hamilton, among other celebrities such as Brian Welch and Greg Ellis, appeared in testimonial videos called "I Am Second" in which he shares his story of recovering from drug use with the help of his faith in Jesus Christ.[44][45]

A portion of his return to sobriety was shown on The Learning Channel's reality show "The Real Deal". “A Home Run for Trademark” aired March 31, 2007 and chronicled the renovation of Shoeless Joe Jackson's house during 2006. Richard C. Davis, the owner of Trademark Properties hired Josh as the construction foreman. Davis was negotiating the purchase of a minor league baseball team and entertaining the idea of giving Josh a chance to join the team.[46]


Hamilton confirmed he suffered a relapse in early 2009. Sports blog posted photos of Hamilton shirtless in a bar in Tempe, Ariz., along with several women, not including his wife. The photos reveal him carousing with women, licking whipped cream off a woman's nipple and pressing his groin against one of their buttocks. According to reports, witnesses saw Hamilton drinking, heard Hamilton asking where he could obtain cocaine, and heard him reveal his plans to go to a strip club later that evening. The photos do not show Hamilton drinking or taking any illegal drugs.[47] Johnny Narron, a special assignment coach with the Rangers and Josh Hamilton's mentor doubted the validity of the photos, telling "I'm sure, in the depths of his drug addiction, he was in a lot of bars," Narron said. "He was in and out of bars, crackhouses, everything. There are probably photographs of him in all kinds of places."[48] It was later revealed Narron did in fact have knowledge of Hamilton's relapse. He never did comment on why he lied.[49] It should be noted Hamilton has listed Narron as part of his support system[50], and Josh's recovery requires him to be completely open and honest about his addiction. Based on other similar recovery programs, such as AA, Narron would be expected to maintain a certain level of confidentiality of Hamilton's admissions. This would explain why Narron refused to divulge this information to Deadspin. Although this news did not break until August, Hamilton revealed that he had informed his wife, the Texas Rangers and Major League Baseball the day after. He was tested for illegal drugs by MLB two days after the incident, and passed that test.[51]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Chen, Albert (2008-05-27). "The Super Natural". Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  2. ^ a b "Major League Rule 5 Draft Selections". Baseball America. 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  3. ^ a b "Reds trade Josh Hamilton to Rangers". USA Today. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  4. ^ "Hamilton has record round, but Morneau wins Derby". AP. 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  5. ^ a b c Phillips, Mike (2008-07-15). "Hamilton steals the show in defeat". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  6. ^ a b Nightengale, Bob (2006-06-07). "Hamilton on the comeback trail". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  7. ^ a b c "Josh Hamilton Statistics". Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  8. ^ a b Sheinin, Dave (2007-02-13). "New Life at the Plate". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  9. ^ Topkin, Mark (2004-02-18). "Josh Hamilton Suspended For MLB Drug Policy Violations". Baseball America. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  10. ^ a b Paul, Tony (2008-06-06). "Back from the (nearly) dead". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  11. ^ Topkin, Mark (2005-01-14). "Staying clean a day at a time". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  12. ^ a b c Davidoff, Ken (2008-07-14). "The Natural". The Daily Herald Co.. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  13. ^ "Ex-rays Prospect Hamilton picked in rule 5 draft". Associated Press. 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  14. ^ Kline, Chris and Manuel, John (2006-12-07). "Rule 5 Draft blog". Baseball America. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  15. ^ Encina, Eduardo A. (2007-03-31). "Reds' Hamilton to start in majors". Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  16. ^ Sheldon, Mark (2007-03-30). "Reds aim to build on last season's run". Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  17. ^ Sheldon, Mark (2007-04-02). "Winding road leads Hamilton to the majors". Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  18. ^ a b Hamilton, Josh & Keown, Tim (2007-07-05). "I'm proof that hope is never lost". Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  19. ^ Sheldon, Mark (2007-06-05). "Hamilton to be activated from DL". Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  20. ^ Sheldon, Mark (2007-07-16). "Notes: Ten more days for Hamilton". Retrieved 2007-07-22. 
  21. ^ McCalvy, Adam (2007-11-12). "Braun named NL Rookie of the Year". Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  22. ^ a b c Sullivan, TR (2007-12-21). "Rangers acquire Hamilton from Reds". Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  23. ^ "Texas Rangers Spring Training Statistics". ESPN. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  24. ^ "Rangers' Hamilton is AL's player of the month - again". The Seattle Times. 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  25. ^ Grant, Evan (2008-07-10). "Josh Hamilton's walk-off homer propels Rangers to win over the Red Sox". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  26. ^ TR Sullivan (2008-07-10). "Hamilton nets walk off win, naturally". Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  27. ^ Sullivan, TR (2008-07-06). "Rangers send four to All-Star Game". Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  28. ^ "Sports: Braun to start in All-Star Game; Sheets lands birth". The Capital Times. 2008-07-06. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  29. ^ "Council still on Cloud Nine". Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  30. ^ "This week: Youth coach on the mound for Hamilton". The News Observer. 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  31. ^ "Morneau stuns Hamilton to take Derby". 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  32. ^ a b "Hamilton sets record with 28 HRs in first round of Derby; Morneau wins it all". ESPN. 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  33. ^ Stark, Jason (2008-07-15). "Hamilton's power display defies explanation". ESPN. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ [1]
  36. ^ [2]
  37. ^ [3]
  38. ^ Shroyer, Shawn (2008-06-01). "Hamilton, wife share story with fans". Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  39. ^ a b c Grant, Evan (2008-02-29). "Faith brings Texas Rangers' Hamilton back from the brink". Dallas News. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  40. ^ [4]
  41. ^ "Josh Hamilton: Rescued by Faith". 28 Feb 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  42. ^ Crouse, Karen (2007-03-09). "Finding peace, and looking for a job". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  43. ^ The M Collective (2008-07-09). "PHILLIPS, CRAIG & DEAN FINDS FOLLOWING AT TEXAS RANGERS’ BALLPARK". The M Collective. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  44. ^
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  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Pat Burrell
First overall pick in the MLB Entry Draft
Succeeded by
Adrian Gonzalez
Preceded by
David Ortiz (September 2007)
American League Player of the Month
April 2008, May 2008
Succeeded by
J.D. Drew
Preceded by
Alex Rodriguez
American League RBI Champion
Succeeded by
Mark Teixeira


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