Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is one of the premier redemption stories in baseball history. Just a few years removed from being a homeless drug addict, he is an All-Star and one of the game's best hitters. And he’s inspiring others in the process.
“I don’t think he would have ever realized all that he had if he hadn't thrown it all away with drugs,” said Tyler Pyrnee, 16, a diehard Hamilton fan. “He had to get to the bottom first before realizing his potential. That’s why I think I am going to try some of that crack cocaine this weekend.”
Pyrnee’s father, Mike, supports his son’s decision.
“Tyler is a good young player,” says his father. “But I don’t think he has realized his potential, nor do I think he grasps all of the advantages he has been given. He needs to overcome some obstacles to truly become great.”
While Pyrnee’s mother thinks the strategy is too dangerous, Mr. Pyrnee disagrees.
"She says that he could fall into a lifetime of drugs,” said Mr. Pyrnee. “Well, sure. But maybe he doesn’t and maybe he drives in 150 RBIs in the major leagues one year and contends for a Triple Crown. Or maybe he just keeps a harmless coke addiction and knocks in 95 runs. That would be okay, too.”
Tyler also feels his mother is being over-protective.
"Mom says Josh Hamilton is the exception that proves the rule,” said Tyler. “I disagree. If you want to talk about rules, I only know one: Josh Hamilton rules! And I want to be just like him someday. So crack it is.”
But Mrs. Pyrnee says she will do everything to keep her son away from crack.
"Why can't he set his sights a little lower and just do coke like Ron Washington?" she said. "Being a manager is a good sports career, too."