Josh Hamilton: Making The Best of A Second Chance

Micah SecorCorrespondent IJune 12, 2008

To say that Josh Hamilton has had a tumultuous career is a supreme understatement.

He has experienced the highest of highs and the absolute lowest of lows. His story of redemption is something we can all learn from, as we have all screwed up at one time or another.

I'm sure most of you have heard of it, but for me, his story has impacted the way I look at life, and it should for you as well.

Hamilton was a can't-miss prospect with otherworldly talent who was drafted out of high school by the Tampa Bay Rays with the number one pick. He was a 6-tool talent who could hit 96 on the radar gun and crush balls out of the park like it was nobody's business.

Sadly, his promising career was derailed by an addiction to drugs as he began hanging around the tattoo parlor, where he got an astounding 26 tattoos.

In 2001 and 2002, he played in only 83 minor league games before being suspended indefinitely for using drugs. Mired in drugs for the next two years, Hamilton laid waste to his body and neglected baseball.

Finally, on October 6, 2005, he quit using drugs after four long years of its abuse on his body and eight trips to drug rehab. By 2006, he began playing in an independent league where he batted .260 in 15 games.

After being chosen in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft by the Cubs, he was traded to the Reds and cracked a roster spot after a monster spring training. He had defied the odds and made it to the Major Leagues.

He was a man with sky-high potential who lost it all to drugs. However, Josh Hamilton defied the odds by breaking his drug addiction and finally making it to the Major Leagues.

He was everything the Reds could have hoped for, posting a .292 batting average and clubbing 19 home-runs. In December 2007, he was acquired by the Rangers in a trade for Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera.

Amazingly, he has picked up where he left off last year and has simply torn the cover off the ball for the Rangers, leading the AL in home-runs and RBI with 17 and 71, respectively.

Josh Hamilton is a pure and visible representation that everyone deserves a second chance in life. We have all made mistakes in life, small or big, and suffered the consequences just like Josh did.

Now while it may not specifically pertain to drugs, it can be anything, like cheating on a test or taxes, lying to a parent or boss, or just being a plain jerk. Josh made a huge mistake that could have easily taken his life, but he looked in the mirror and saw a weak, worthless person addicted to drugs who had effectively wasted his career.

He swallowed his pride and sought help, repairing his damaged life and getting a second chance. His is the amazing story of redemption and recovery, and a true example to us all that everyone deserves a second chance.