Josh Hamilton: U Turns permitted

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton had the world ahead of him as a high-school senior.

Picked no. 1 in the 1999 draft by Tampa Bay, it was a dream come true for the teenager. The Devil Rays believed he was such a complete package that they dubbed him the “future of the franchise.” He could pitch – clocked at 96 miles an hour – but most of the baseball world salivated even more over his offensive skills. He could do it all. But “pride goes before the fall,” and fell he did.
His $3.9 million signing bonus fueled a dangerous lifestyle that would send his childhood hopes and dreams spiraling away. Who knows what happened. It could have been bad friends or just poor choices — but he began to use drugs – and then abuse them – and before long he was addicted to crack cocaine. He not only lost his swing – he lost his job. He was kicked out of baseball.
He now says that he was “a man with no soul.”
For three years he didn’t pick up a bat, a ball or a glove. For many kids, that’s the end of the story. It just turns into the final chapter of a story we hear all too often – broken relationships, legal trouble and sickness eventually followed by a tragic death. But this story is entirely different. In 2005, God got ahold of this broken young man and brought Josh back on the team.
He found his Savior, thanks to the tough love of his grandmother and the strong witness of Raleigh homebuilder Michael Dean Chadwick, who himself battled drug addiction. Chadwick told Josh, “either die or get well.”

And getting well-centered around Jesus, Josh eventually began to play ball and found his skills again. The Reds took a chance and signed him and before long, he was in their outfield. In his first month in the big leagues, he took Rookie of the month awards.
Just two years later, he’s an All-Star playing in Yankee Stadium. He was on the big stage last night at Yankee Stadium in the home-run derby. He broke a one-round record and blasted 28 balls out of the House that Ruth built.
Today, he is honest about his past. And he is bold about his Savior. “I haven’t gotten tired of telling this story yet,” Hamilton said to the Dallas News. “It’s my obligation – no, it’s my privilege – to tell it.”
This Red Letter Believer is a Christian who not only talks about is faith, but he clings to it and lives it.
Josh, may your home runs be many and your walk be pure.

About David Rupert

Newsletter Editor for the High Calling Find me over at
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1 Response to Josh Hamilton: U Turns permitted

  1. Baxter says:

    Love the U-turn! Thanks for sharing it!

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