Josh Hamilton Still Supported In Texas


Despite leaving the Texas Rangers on a bad note, Josh Hamilton is one of those athletes who still and will always have my respect as a ball player.

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It’s been over two years since Hamilton last played in a Rangers uniform. The slugger departed from the squad at the end of the 2012 season. That’s when Texas general manager Jon Daniels decided to let other ball clubs negotiate his contract.

Hamilton was a little upset the Rangers were hesitant about resigning him. He agreed to a $125 million contract with division rival Los Angeles Angels for five years. As that day unfolded, Hamilton was labeled a villain.

The Dallas is a “football town” remark Hamilton made is something Rangers fans will never forget. When he made his return back to Texas in 2013, the fans welcomed him with raining boos that echoed throughout the ballpark.

Hamilton had a .285 batting average in 2012. He also exploded for 43 home runs that same season. But the batting champion went into a major slump after the All Star break. Hamilton’s lack of consistency failed to post a high batting percentage.

It was one of the reasons why the Rangers didn’t resign the outfielder. Hamilton looked apathetic at times while swinging his bat. He just flat out quit on his team. It seriously looked like Hamilton had given up in many of his at-bats.

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When the Rangers faced the Baltim

ore Orioles in the 2012 American League Wild Card game, Hamilton was one that went 0-4. It’s just something fans in Texas weren’t used to seeing.

In 2011, Hamilton batted .298 with 25 home runs and 94 RBI’s. In 2010, he was named the American League MVP after hitting .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBIs.

Involved with drugs and alcohol off the field, was probably the most logical reason why the Rangers had trouble coming to a conclusion signing Hamilton to an extension. Maybe the front office simply thought his contract  wasn’t worth the price.

But when Hamilton made his rounds to local bars, the Rangers threw their arms around him, stood by him and never gave up on him. His teammates treated him as if he was their own brother. There wasn’t a better group of guys who could have guided Hamilton in the right direction.

Hamilton recently suffered a drug relapse, while rehabbing his right shoulder after undergoing surgery. But according to the league, he will not be suspended. I hope to see Hamilton back on the diamond, soon.

I’ll never forget the two-run homer Hamilton blasted to right field in game 6 of the 2011 World Series at Busch Stadium. That would have served the Rangers its first championship in franchise history.

Realistically, if Nelson Cruz would have caught the fly ball that was hit into right field by St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese, Hamilton would have been the reason for the Rangers hoisting the trophy.

There’s no doubt Texas was the perfect fit for Hamilton. The three-time American League Silver Slugger had all the support he needed here. It will never be the same seeing Hamilton in another uniform. But it was just his time to move on.

Even though it may never happen, I hope to one day see Hamilton back in Arlington suited out in a Rangers uniform. Despite his flaws, for a guy who has good faith in God, Hamilton will always have my support.