Josh Hamilton with the Texas Rangers had been sober for three years before he relapsed last Monday night. He was out at a restaurant in Dallas where he ordered three or four drinks. Then he said he called his teammate Ian Kinsler to come join him, but he kept the drinks he had a secret. When Kinsler came Hamilton did not drink in front of him. After the restaurant closed they continued their conversation at a place across the street. Then after thirty minutes Kinsler took Hamilton to where he said, “I needed to be” and made sure Hamilton was not thinking of going back out. Even though Hamilton told his teammate he wouldn’t, Hamilton went back out and had more drinks. Josh Hamilton said that no drugs were involved and has taken two drug-tests since his relapse the night of January 30, 2012, and has already made plans to meet with the right people and get the help he needs. Hamilton has also scheduled an apology conference at the Ballpark Friday February 3, 2012. He spoke in front of media and others with no script or notes and did not take questions. Hamilton wanted his apology to be from the heart.
Hamilton is a great baseball player with a career .308 batting average (gets 308 base hits out of 1,000 times at bat), 118 home runs, and 425 RBI (Runs Batted In). His life thus far has been filled with many ups and downs.
Josh Hamilton was a very talented baseball player in high school. In 1999 from high school Hamilton was drafted to Tampa Bay who then sent him to play in their minor league teams. Hamilton played so well on these teams that he was moved up quickly from Princeton Pirates of the Appalachian to Class-A Hudson Valley to the Charleston River Dogs. While with the Charleston River Dogs in July Hamilton injured his knee when chasing a fly ball. He had a torn lateral meniscus and needed arthroscopic surgery that some people said should end his career.
Hamilton still planned to play again but in February of 2001 he and his parents were hit by a dump truck that ran a red light. In this accident Hamilton hurt his back and his parents received injuries as well. Hamilton’s parents had to return to their home town so that Hamilton’s mother could get the medical treatment and help she needed for her injuries. Hamilton stayed in Florida and was on his own for the first time in his life. Hamilton was with Class-AA Orlando by this time but his back was not completely healed. He was still feeling a lot of pain. While not getting to play much and having extra time on his hands, Hamilton fell into a crowd that made bad decisions and started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. He continued his career with having more injuries and experimented more and more with drugs and alcohol. Hamilton was then banned from baseball in 2003 for refusing to take drug-tests.
After all this Hamilton looked to meet with Mike Chadwick, a man who gave lectures on how he himself overcame the addiction of drugs and alcohol. During the time of talking with Mike, Hamilton got to know Mike’s daughter Katie and fell in love. They got married and before the birth of their first-born Hamilton got back into drugs. About a month after his daughter was born Josh Hamilton vowed he took his last drink on October 6, 2005 and cleaned himself up.
In January 2006 Roy Silver heard Hamilton was cleaning up so Roy offered Hamilton a job cleaning restrooms and taking care of the field at The Winning Inning complex. Hamilton was also allowed to use the training facilities. After this the League heard about Hamilton and were very impressed. They allowed him back into the Major Leagues but required him to have a drug-test three times each week. Hamilton made his debut in 2007 with Cincinnati who then traded him to the Rangers in 2008.
Josh stayed sober till January of 2009 when he had his first relapse. Right after, Josh took the right actions and got the help he needed. Hamilton then stayed sober for 3 years till his second relapse last Monday on January 3oth. Hamilton has not given a specific reason for his relapse but said it was due to “personal reasons.” This past year has been a pretty rough year for Hamilton. Some of the things he has been through this year include:
- Back in July Hamilton threw a foul ball into the stands where a fan reached too far over the rail and fell. He passed away shortly after. The man had attended the game with his son who was standing next to him as his father fell. I do not believe in any way that this was Hamilton’s fault, but I could not imagine how this would weigh on someone in Hamilton’s position.
- The Texas Rangers went to the World Series for the second time and lost yet again. This time they were so close and were one out away from winning it all, but lost. I bet this would be heartbreaking to be so close to a goal like that for a second time and not accomplish it yet again.
- Then Hamilton’s accountability partner, Johnny Narron left the team to be the Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach. Johnny was Hamilton’s accountability partner and the man Hamilton turned to for many years and now he is leaving. The Rangers are in the process of finding Hamilton another accountability partner. Hamilton was going to have Mike Chadwick, his father-in-law be his accountability partner, but Mr. Chadwick could not accept because he wanted to stay close to his family while his daughter finished high school.
- Last, Hamilton has been hoping for a contract extension with the Texas Rangers before spring training but the Rangers have not yet offered one. I wonder if this has a little to do with why they have not yet assigned Hamilton an accountability partner.
I personally do not know all that goes on with addicts and am not going to try. I feel that Hamilton made his own decision, but I also feel that he has been through a lot. I hope that Josh Hamilton gets cleaned up again, because when he is sober he is a great baseball player and seems to be a great person. I have never meet Hamilton but from watching him on T.V. and hearing his interviews he seems to be a positive and good-hearted guy. I love that he talks about God in his apology and says “my recovery is Christ.” I hope Hamilton means all this and cleans himself up again, but for good this time.