Josh Hamilton: From Sinner to Baseball Saint

Emily DiekelmannCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2008

His story is one that every person dreams of; being at your absolute worst and rising out of the ashes back to the top of your game. For Josh Hamilton, the Texas Rangers' outfielder, he is now living the dream.

Hamilton grew up with baseball. Thriving in high school, twice named Gatorade’s High School Player of the Year, he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999. From there he played on the Rays minor league team until 2000. Prior to the 2001 season, his decent into drugs began and his baseball future began to slip away.

From 2001-2004, Hamilton played in only a few games and was suspended by Major League Baseball for violating their drug policy. At that moment, it seemed as if Hamilton’s baseball life was over.

He went to rehab and began to train again in 2006 under heavy watch of MLB. He was drafted in the Rule 5 draft by the Chicago Cubs. The Rule 5 draft is to prevent teams from obtaining too many young players for minor league teams when other teams would play them in the pros.

After the Cubs obtained him, he was quickly sent to the Cincinnati Reds where he played 90 games and had a batting average of. 292. In a trade with the Texas Rangers, Hamilton finally acquired the success he had always longed for.

In 2008, the Rangers traded Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera for Hamilton. This move proved to be his claim to fame. With 21 home runs and 95 RBI, he is setting the pace for the rest of the baseball world. As if his year couldn't get any better, he was elected to his first All-Star game with the most votes among outfielders.

He went on to participate in the Home Run Derby and would shatter the record for home runs in one round by hitting 28. Although he didn’t end up winning, Hamilton still knew the impact of what happened.

When asked how he felt after the Home Run Derby he simply replied, “I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

This year Hamilton has not only shown humility but also proved to people that no matter who they are, they can overcome the troubles in their life and come out standing on top.