Sports Illustrated has been covering sports for decades. They are well-known for their professionalism, unique perspectives, and of course the swim suit edition. Yesterday, Tim Crothers wrote an article on baseball superstar Josh Hamilton that may trump any other article SI has ever written. If you only read one article today – make it that one.
Okay so I’m a little bias. Hamilton is a legend in Raleigh, NC. I remember being 11 years old and hearing about this kid who was “better than Mickey Mantle.” Since I grew up in a family of Yankee fans, that claim might as well be a sin. Baseball scouts didn’t think that claim was far off. Hamilton was selected 1st overall in the June 1999 draft. A country boy from NC walked into a couple million dollars because of some game we all played. Every little leaguer at the West Raleigh Baseball Association was in awe. Talk about getting children’s hopes up.
The most remarkable part of this story is how Josh Hamilton is viewed in our community. Yesterday when the article got posted, numerous people posted it to various social media sites. Great stories tend to get shared. It was very cool that most of the postings included stories of personal interactions with Josh. Some people remember his good nature as a classmate. Others remember waiting in line for an hour and a half to get his autograph. Others remember watching him hit ball after ball over the outfield fence.
Whatever the story, everybody loves this guy. They should. Josh Hamilton had a fairy tale story and then he threw it all away. Most people would quit on themselves but Josh decided to clean up his life. He had help along the way and that journey is not over yet. It may never be over. Either way, Josh Hamilton is a great role model for children. It doesn’t hurt that he can hit 500 foot home runs either!
Do you have a story or interaction with Josh Hamilton? Share your stories and reactions in the comments or tweet me @APompliano!