Monday, March 24, 2008

Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas Rangers

Hamilton welcome addition to Rangers
Five-tool center fielder credits faith for renewed success
By T.R. Sullivan /

The growing feeling in the desert is Hamilton could be on the verge of the kind of player the Devil Rays had envisioned when they made him the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft. That was before Hamilton's perilous plunge beyond personal purgatory, first with injuries and then the death-like grip of an insidious drug addiction that had him on the brink of complete self-destruction.

There was a point where most people felt comfortable saying they would never expect to see Hamilton on a baseball field again. They were wrong. Giving all credit to his family, his support system, and renewed and unswerving faith in God, Hamilton is back in center field where he belongs, and not the gutters of life.

"It's like He's standing beside me, plugged into me," Hamilton said. "I'm not one of those guys who talks about God because it sounds good. It's because He changed my life. One thing I keep in mind first thing in the morning is no matter what I do, the Man upstairs already knows what will happen.

"All I can do is play to the best of my ability and have fun. If I strike out or make an error, I will know in my heart that I at least did my best. That's the way I looked at it last year whether I went 4-for-4 or 0-for-4."

Here's a video interview with Josh: