As if just making the Home Run Derby wasn't good enough, Josh Hamilton hit 28 freaking bombs in the FIRST ROUND. Which is 4 more than the previous record for HR's in a round. Rakes and I watched every one while sitting together in the chair; even at 4 years old, the boy figured out pretty quick he was watching something special.
By the end of his round, he was yelling and laughing at the top of his lungs, with every HR Hamilton hit matched with a pint size "WHOA Dad! Did you see how far DAT one went?" And with every David Ortiz hand wave, Ian Kinsler mid-round hug, and Milton Bradley taking Clay Councel a vitamin water and rubbing his arm, my grin grew bigger and bigger.
Can you imagine the emotions running through his mind right now? Just a few years removed from hell on earth, he's in Yankee Stadium with 50,000 + chanting his name with the best of the best of his peers cheering him on. The smiles on the faces of all the other All-Stars tells you everything you need to know about how they feel about Josh Hamilton.
Even though he didn't even have to hit, Hamilton comes out and hits 4 more dingers in round 2, setting up a 2008 HR Derby final of Josh Hamilton and Justin Morneau. Going first in the final round, Morneau hits 5; which means all Hamilton has to do is hit 6 to win.
Not counting all the Home Runs, the crowd at Yankee Stadium is cheering for this guy like he's the second coming of Reggie Jackson, Micky Mantle, and Babe Ruth all rolled into one. Who knew 50,000 ex-cons could show such compassion?
Sometimes, even Hollywood gets it wrong. Hamilton only hits 3 in the final round and Morneau wins the derby. It's sort of like last years Super Bowl; the Giants won the final battle, but everyone remembers the Patriots undefeated season.
I guess somebody realized Jerry Bruckheimer needed to figure out the ending to his next blockbuster on his own this time.
Well done, Josh.
Your Grandmother should be proud.