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This One Is For Josh

Posted by Matt on July 14, 2008

My prediction to win the Home Run Derby is also the player I am rooting for 100%, former Cincinnati Red Josh Hamilton.

On reason — the one of which is obvious — is Hamilton’s past addiction problems and the great success story he has become.  This article from USA Today sums up Hamilton’s new lease on life almost perfectly and because of this I feel he will not only be the best swinger in the field but also the most excited and grateful to be there.

“I’ve had so many dreams, so many nightmares that made me so scared,” says Hamilton, the Texas Rangers’ center fielder, “but there was always one that kept me going … gave me hope.

“It was making the All-Star Game, and being at the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium, and having the platform to tell my story.”

Besides the determination that 33 months of sobriety takes, Hamilton’s sheer physical presence and talent should vault him to the Home Run Derby leaderboards as long as he does not get cold feet in the New York City limelight.

Says Rangers shortstop Michael Young: “Nobody can hit balls as far as he can. You’ll see it in the Derby. It’s over.”

I am looking forward to seeing Hamilton attain his ultimate goal in life at the Home Run Derby and All Star Game, completing a personal come back from the bottomless pit of drug and alcohol addiction.  Josh Hamilton is the greatest story being told in baseball today and it is a story being written on a daily basis.  When the adrenaline gets going tonight in Yankee Stadium, expect balls to be flying off of the bat of #32.

“I’m proof that hope is never lost.” – Josh Hamilton

Linkage: USA Today, ESPN.com

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