Josh Hamilton: Bio, Christian Faith, and Quotes
Everyone loves a good redemption story; Josh Hamilton is just that. His story gives hope to those who have seemingly lost it, as well as being a prime example of the “second chance.” At one point in his life, Hamilton completely threw everything he had away—including an illustrious Major League Baseball career. The following article will briefly describe his life, his Christian faith, and list some of his more famous quotes.
From a young age, Josh Hamilton excelled in baseball. It’s what he loved to do, like so many other children his age. The difference between him and others, however, is that everyone noticed just how good he was. In High School, he was a Pitcher and outfielder. He had great speed on the mound, great speed and agility with his feet, and was a dangerously powerful hitter.
All of this led him to his next step in life—the MLB. With the first pick of the 1999 MLB draft, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays selected Hamilton and gave him close to a 4 million dollar signing bonus. From a High School star, to a Million Dollar prospect, Josh Hamilton had it all—or so it seemed.
Although he was praised in the Minor League farm system of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Hamilton’s life quickly spun out of control. Right before the 2001 season, he was involved in a bad car accident which led to some injuries that needed rehabilitation. During his rehabilitation process, Hamilton got mixed up with the wrong crowd and began doing drugs and consuming a lot of alcohol. By 2002, the Devil Rays realized Hamilton was developing a serious drug problem, and sent him away to a drug rehab facilitation. This, however, would not be enough.
During the next few years, Hamilton struggled tremendously. He began skipping practices, taking off for personal reasons, and even started failing drug tests, which prompted the MLB to suspend him. Essentially, he was in and out of baseball for a couple of years, right after that 2002 season. By 2006, Hamilton began having people in his life who started steering him in the right direction, including his future wife, Katie. By the end of 2006, he was able to join a minor league team and play in the last of their remaining games. As 2007 rolled around, he was able to be put into the Rule 5 draft, subsequently ending up with the Cincinnati Reds; his return to baseball was all but solidified.
You may be asking yourself: what happened to Hamilton that made him turn his life around? According to Hamilton, the answer is God—he finally surrendered his life to Him. Although that might sound too easy to be true, Hamilton swears that it is the key to keeping him away from his addictions, and even placing him back in baseball, which at one point seemed absolutely impossible. He is unashamed of his Christian faith, citing it as the biggest factor in his life—and in his return to baseball. From 2007 onward, Hamilton has been one of the biggest outspoken Christians in the MLB. His story was widely circulated around ESPN and other sports news outlets. And, within that very story, Hamilton constantly gave credit where it was due—to Jesus Christ.
“A father will tell me about his son while I'm signing autographs. A mother will wait outside the players' parking lot to tell me about her daughter. They know where I've been. They look to me because I'm proof that hope is never lost.”
“Baseball is third in my life right now, behind my relationship with God and my family. Without the first two, baseball isn't even in the picture.”
“Addiction is a humbling experience. Getting it under control is even more humbling. I got better for one reason: I surrendered. Instead of asking to be bailed out, instead of making deals with God by saying, "If you get me out of this mess, I'll stop doing what I'm doing," I asked for help. I wouldn't do that before. I'd been the Devil Rays' No. 1 pick in the 1999 draft, supposedly a five-tool prospect. I was a big, strong man, and I was supposed to be able to handle my problems myself. That didn't work out so well.”
“The media helps hold me accountable, more than they realize. They don't realize me telling my story and getting it out there helps me stay clean, helps me want to do good all the time.”
It’s no doubt that Josh Hamilton is living proof of the hope available in Jesus Christ. He’s proof that people can turn to Jesus, and as a result turn their lives around. It was not easy for Hamilton to do, but he acknowledges that it was really God who brought him through it all and restored the years that the locusts have eaten. So far, Hamilton has been a great role model and even greater Christian Athlete for the last 7 years. We need more Christian athletes like him!