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Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Cinderella Story Continues


21 Home Runs, 95 RBI, and a .310 batting average. On the freaking 13th day of July.

3,708,709 votes to start in the All-Star game, which was about 300,000 more than the second OF to get voted in; some guy named Manny Ramirez. Josh Hamilton is having himself quite the year.

I know his story has been repeated over and over on tv, magazines, and in the Interwebs, but I just can't get enough of reading about it. 2nd overall pick, crack addict, alcoholic, out of baseball and seemingly on a path that had only one final destination: Death.

But through his faith, family, and sheer will he survived. Not only did he survive, he's THRIVING in a mentally and physical grueling sport and around more temptation than an every day guy like myself can even imagine.

I was positively giddy when I received this link from my brother Matt earlier this week.

http://www.newsobserver.com:80/sports/story/1139201.html

It mentions how when Hamilton was playing American Legion ball in High School, he told the guy who threw him batting practice, a baseball lifer named Clay Council, that if he ever got to the Home Run Derby he'd fly him in to pitch. Council, now 71 years old, got a phone call a few weeks ago; Josh Hamilton was on the other end, asking if he'd be willing to fly to NYC tomorrow night for the Derby.

Guys like him aren't supposed to turn out like this. From Heath Ledger to Lenny Bias to River Phoenix, history is littered with stars who had the world by the tail, only to throw it all away.

Crack addicts don't come back; they don't lead the league in RBI or start in NYC in the All-Star game or have their old batting practice coach throw to them in the Home Run Derby in The House That Ruth Built.

They don't get the world watch them tell their story, share their faith, or be the feel good sports story of the year. Usually, they end up a cautionary tale of the perils of fame for the rest of us and Happily Ever After is only found in the stories I read Rakes and Trot before they go to sleep.

Except this time?

You can find it tomorrow night at Yankee Stadium.

24 comments:

Tex said...

he gives a person hope.

Ted D said...

Tex, if anyone knows his story, watches tomorrow night or Tuesday, and doesn't shed a tear?

I'm gonna wonder if they have a heart.

This guy is the poster child for second chances.

Tex said...

I hope Bonds, Clemens, Palmiero, Sosa, McGwire, et al are watching.

I'll be watching. I really dont care for all the All Star stuff...not really into it all. But I'll watch Josh.

Ted D said...

I hope they are watching too, Tex. I really enjoy the All-Star game, not so much the derby.

But I'll watch tomorrow night for sure. He's an amazing story.

Tree Newt said...

Dude, what a story this guy is! I never cease to be amazed by it, no matter what I'm reading. It IS the feel good story of the year, because, in a way, it's all our stories. It's all about second chances...grace.

Great post, lil' bro. Good luck with day one today!

Ted D said...

Mattie, Guess what my day off is going to be? Monday!

So I worked Saturday, but I'm off until tomorrow. If Hollywood doesn't already have a movie in the works about this guy I'll be shocked.

Crystal said...

Thanks for posting that Ted. I wasn't aware of his background.

Addiction is so hard to overcome, it's amazing to hear such a story. Not only did he overcome it, he kicked it's ass!

I'm going to do some reading about him. I think you may have just introduced me to a new fav to follow.

Ted D said...

Crystal, he's a Carolina boy who went to High School in Raleigh, so I've followed him since High School.

He's got 2 of the sweetest little girls you'll ever see. I remember you posting on the board that you've had your own battles. Read up on him; it really is an amazing story.

Crystal said...

Thanks, Ted! I plan to!

I have, but I got my second chance too! It's nice to read a positive story, there are so many negative ones and they seem to get the most publicity.

Ted D said...

Crystal, the admiration I've got for you and people like Hamilton is off the charts. Really glad you embraced that second chance. And I agree, we always hear about the bad ones; nice to see one of the good ones get their day in the sun.

Krystle said...

I have a soft spot about Hamiliton. It must be something about the players from the South, I seem to have a soft spot for them.

Oh and for the loan update - the school decided to deny me and didn't give the loan company a reason. Because hey, what the heck, we'll do this 3 weeks before I have to leave right?

So much for my headache going away...just in time to watch Berman go "BACK BACK BACK BACK" every chance he gets...right?

Ted D said...

Krystle, man do I hate to hear that. Do you guys have a plan B? Hope you get it all settled soon.

I enjoy the Derby and the All-Star game, but Berman prattling on for 3 plus hours gives me an earworm you wouldn't believe.

Krystle said...

Well I have a loan in the works at Discover right now just to pay off the bill. I'm hoping that because of this whole thing they'll give me more aide and less money I have to take out and pay back but I can only dream right? If that doesn't work, I guess I'll have to take a loan out through the school.

We got Buck and McCarver for the All-Star game tomorrow and Berman tonight. I have to agree with you about Berman. Maybe they can just show Red Sox players with their families to make it all better? I'm a soft spot for JD Drew and his son...

Ted D said...

I hope you guys can get it all figured out; just what you need this close to school, right?

Buck doesn't bother me unless he's doing Sox games usually. Watching the guys with their kids is great.

Krystle said...

Oh yes. Get ready, in about 8 years - you'll be here!

Buck just bothers me when he's with McCarver because they both make idiotic comments.

They have pictures of Giardi and his son and even THAT is cute...They just showed Youk with his step-son and it was just SO cute! It's one of the main reasons I watch the Homerun Derby.

Ted D said...

Saw Youk. Kid was prone on the ground and he was trying to get him to stand up.

I could sympathize.

Edge of Design said...

I like that story and will have to look into your link to tomorrow at the Stadium. Did you see the Jays/Yankees? 9th inning and NYY scores a run upsetting Burnett and his shut out. We are all miffed to say the least. It was a good game just the same! Go Jays!

Ted D said...

Edge, I saw parts of the game and I'm grateful to the Jays for waxing the Yankees. And since the Rays are so far in the Sox rear view mirror, I applaud them. ;)

Hope your trip is going well and I know Ang and Ciera will be glad when you all get home.

Tell Big Daddy L I said hello!

Tex said...

you know i try to refrain from my cursing on here but Josh is kicking some serious ASS tonight. I hope he wins this thing.

Ted D said...

Tex, that was amazing!

I was in awe.

Krystle said...

That was amazing! I wish he won because I would have been right.

I think the music scared the poor kid and when you're 3, theyre music COULD scare you. To think he went from singlehood to fatherhood instantly...

Ted D said...

No matter the outcome, Hamilton had a derby for the ages.

Sarah said...

I feel compelled to leave a comment; I perused parts of your blog (very cool, by the way), and wanted to read more about Josh Hamilton. I knew about him before the home run derby, but afterward I was absolutely enamored with him. I found this link on line that graphically details his story: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/baseball/rangers/stories/012708dnspowebrangersz.218a1b6.html. I thought it was really well done, and wanted to share it with you and your other blog readers. I'm a Red Sox fan through and through, but I'm a Josh Hamilton fan, too :)

Ted D said...

Sarah, thanks for commenting and sharing the link. He's got a truly amazing story.