Four home runs in a single game. The feat had only been accomplished 15 times in MLB history. Then Josh Hamilton stepped to the plate, and hit a home run. Then he stepped to the plate and hit a double. It was obvious that Mr. Hamilton was dialed in. At 2 for 2, he stepped the plate 3 more times during the evening, and proceeded to jack home runs to all field locations.
He set an American League record with 18 total bases in a single game. In a regulation game, there are realistically only two ways to go bigger than that with 5 ABs. A triple instead of the double, or 5 home runs.
After the game, this superstar was as humble as ever. He stated that he always wanted to hit 3 HRs in a game, but could have imagined hitting 4. He considered it a gift from God, and moved about his evening.
There is something incredibly special about Josh Hamilton. And the Texas Rangers brass is well aware. They know he has had a past that is laden with drug and alcohol abuse, and that his life turned the corner through humility, and other actions he has allowed to serve as representation of his faith. Still, he’s a free agent. The Rangers see it as high risk, high reward potential…but the lingering “what-if” continues to cloud the possibility. His numbers are undeniable. His slip-up last off-season was unmissable. Is his battle with sobriety a burden to his teammates, or is his presence a blessing?
Make no mistake, Josh Hamilton will get paid big bucks after the close of this season, but who will be signing the checks? Hop on that horse and ride, Texas. Contingency clauses will allow for contractual freedom, but you can’t let this one slip away.