Josh Hamilton's week of Holy Moly was Hall-worthy

ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton's historic week will soon become part of Cooperstown.

Texas Rangers officials will oblige the Baseball Hall of Fame's request for the bat Hamilton used -- as well as the hat and jersey he wore -- when he became the 16th player to hit four home runs in a game on Tuesday night in Baltimore.

That night was only part of a seven-game stretch in which Hamilton blistered the baseball for nine home runs and 18 runs batted in.

That's no ordinary week. It's more like Holy Moly Week, which has put him in select company and has baseball enthusiasts struck with wonder.

"Honestly, I don't think about it all until I see somebody and they remind me of [the pace]," said Hamilton, who, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, joined Frank Howard and Shawn Green as the only major-league players to record at least nine home runs and 15 RBIs over a six-game span.

To Hamilton, it sounds as if the four-homer game is a thing of the past. "The only approach I have each day is do my work and try to have a good game."

A two-run double in the fourth inning of the Rangers' victory Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels and a run-scoring single gave him a major league-leading 44 RBI and extended his hitting streak to 13 consecutive games.

He also leads all major-leaguers in home runs (18) and the American League in batting average at .389.

With his 18th home run on Saturday, the Rangers' star outfielder became only the second player since 1918 to hit that many in his team's first 34 games, joining Cy Williams of the Phillies in 1923.

Hitting better than .400 over an entire season, much less achieving Hamilton's projections of more than 80 home runs and close to 200 RBIs is unheard of. To even partially maintain this pace he'll need to stay healthy and be a little lucky.

Manager Ron Washington is trying to keep his outfielder healthy by continually urging him to quit sliding into first while trying to beat out infield hits, as he did twice on Friday.

"When a guy smells a hit, he just reacts," Washington said. "I just hope he doesn't get hurt. When you're competing, you do what you have to do."

Hamilton said he's not caught up in the frenzy and he's not consumed with hitting home runs or for extra-base hits, another category in which he leads the majors.

"I'm not up there trying to hit home runs," Hamilton said. "I'm trying to hit the ball hard on the barrel."

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram