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Ex-MLB MVP Josh Hamilton Says 'The Holy Spirit' Spoke to Him Before HR in WS

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2019

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 27: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers hits a two-run home run in the 10th inning off of Jason Motte #30 of the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Six of the MLB World Series at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Having endured struggles through the early stages of the 2011 World Series, former Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton says his go-ahead home run in Game 6 was the work of a higher power.

In his "Beyond Grateful" essay published on the Players' Tribune on Friday, Hamilton said he received a message from "the Holy Spirit" while he was in the on-deck circle in the 10th inning:

"I hear the Holy Spirit talking to me.

"This is the honest truth.

"For real. I'm standing there, getting ready to bat, and I hear it clear as day.

"'You're about to hit a homer right now, son.'

"And I'm like, Huh ... O.K."

Hamilton then gave Texas a 9-7 lead with a two-run shot to right-center field—on the first pitch.

Prior to that at-bat, Hamilton had been hitting .208 (5-for-24) with zero home runs and three RBI through the first five-plus games of the series, but he received an unexpected confidence boost in the biggest moment of his baseball career.

Hamilton's home run was poised to go down as the biggest hit in Rangers history, as it moved them within three outs of the first World Series title in franchise history. Unfortunately for Hamilton and Co., the Cardinals rallied in the bottom of the 10th and won the game on David Freese's walk-off an inning later.

St. Louis pulled out a 6-2 victory in Game 7 the following night, denying Texas a championship after it was one strike away on multiple occasions in Game 6.

Even though it did not result in a ring, Hamilton wrote that his extra-inning home run is "probably the one moment I'll remember most about my time with the Rangers."

Hamilton was drafted No. 1 overall in 1999, but substance use nearly derailed his career. The Cincinnati Reds gave him a chance in 2007, and the rest is history. After the Reds traded him to Texas in December 2007, he earned five consecutive All-Star selections from 2008 to 2012 and put on one of the greatest performances in Home Run Derby history in 2008.

He was named the 2010 American League MVP after hitting .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBI for the Rangers.

Hamilton spent five years in Texas, leading the team to a pair of World Series berths. He moved on in December 2012, signing a five-year, $125 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

In the midst of a disappointing tenure in Southern California, Hamilton had a drug relapse during the 2014-15 offseason, which preceded his trade back to the Rangers in April 2015. He last appeared in a big league game in October 2015, though he attempted to play in both 2016 and 2017.

Hamilton wrote in his essay that he has had more than one encounter with the Holy Spirit. The 38-year-old said the Holy Spirit came to him in 2017 and gave him guidance to walk away from baseball: "You know you're scared. ... Of being ... done. ... It's O.K. to be done, you know. I have something more for you after baseball."

Ten minutes later, Hamilton called his agent to officially retire.