"At my lowest point, I never dreamed of being where I am today," said Hamilton. "I dreamed more about playing really well for a good team. But sometimes things don't work out quite like you'd hope. If you had offered me .202 and getting booed back in 2005, would have taken it. At least, I probably would have."
One definite positive of Hamilton's current situation is that he is getting paid $17 million to be a massive, gaping hole in the middle of Anaheim's lineup with $106 million more due to him in the next four years.
"I suspect the Angels want me to hit, like, lots of home runs and have a high batting average and stuff like that," said Hamilton. "But I think they would agree that even if I never get another hit in my entire life, my life's story is pretty remarkable. As remarkable as the fact that major league contracts are completely guaranteed? No. But remarkable nonetheless."
Wait. Why are Austrian papers covering baseball?
He took up baseball when his '90s boy band folded.
"None of this would've been possible without God at my side, but I truly have to thank Albert Pujols for setting such an inspirational example," said Hamilton in a postgame press conference. "Tonight goes out to you, Albert. We miss you."
Leading the league with 14 long balls, Hamilton has been exacting an uncanny Pujols impression in the first month of the season. His astonishingly quick swing, delivered with brutal precision, is a ghostly reminder of Pujols' storied career with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he established himself as the most feared hitter of his generation.
"I know he's not with us anymore, but I can't shake the feeling that Albert was helping me tonight," said Hamilton. "I'd like to think his spirit lives through my bat."
I'm sure Hamilton makes enough money to buy his own ginger ale, thank you very much.
"We sent a big box full of cocaine and champagne to their locker room, addressed to Ron Washington and Josh Hamilton," said Giants outfielder Pat Burrell. "It was hilarious."
When you win an ALDS, like Josh Hamilton, your teammates dump ginger ale on you.
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."