Josh Hamilton will be inducted to the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame, along with former Arlington mayor Richard Greene, on Aug. 17 before a game against Minnesota Twins, so get tickets now.
Now to the important stuff, catching up with one of the best players in Rangers history.
Hamilton, who hasn’t been seen at Globe Life Park in three years, said on Monday that he is continuing to win his daily battle with addiction while trying to catch up on missed time with his daughters.
The five-time All-Star is a full-time dad when he has custody of his girls, and a rancher when he doesn’t. He doesn’t watch much baseball, but when he does he has to fight of the sensation that he could still be doing what he was so good at for six seasons with the Rangers.
Hamilton is never going to be a normal guy, but he’s trying.
“I’m doing good,” he said. “I’ve been making up for lost time with my girls, being dad.”
The Rangers announced their Hall class for 2019 at noon sharp and made Hamilton, the 2010 American League MVP, and Greene, a driving force behind the construction of Globe Life Park and a Star-Telegram contributor, available on a conference call.
Hamilton did his from the tailgate of a pickup truck at a gas station between his ranch in College Station and his home in Tarrant County. He didn’t seem bothered, or at the least tried to make the best of talking to the beat writers who wrote about the highs and lows of his career.
The numerous highlights are what earned him a place in the Rangers’ Hall. In addition to the MVP in 2010, he won the AL batting title and the AL Championship Series MVP. It’s hard to forget his performance in the Home Run Derby in 2008 or the four-home run game in 2012 at Baltimore.
He hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.
All of that came after he was kicked out of baseball for repeated violations of the MLB drug program, stopped using drugs and alcohol, and was reinstated in 2006 by then-MLB commissioner Bud Selig.
Hamilton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, made his MLB debut in 2007 with the Cincinnati Reds.
“It’s a great honor,” said Hamilton, who turns 38 on Tuesday. “If I was to think about 15 or 20 years ago about getting in any Hall of Fame at any point in my life, I would have said no. I’ve got to thank the good lord above, the Rangers, and all the fans. It’s very humbling.”
So, too, it seems is the opportunity to spend. time with his daughters. They attend school full time in Tarrant Count, they all play softball, and they aren’t old enough drive themselves to and fro.
Hamilton, who also moved his parents to Texas from North Carolina, has been spotted at an area Hobby Lobby and at his local grocery store.
“There are a lot of things where everybody looks at my like, ‘What are you doing here?’ he said. “I’m like, ‘I’m a person, and I have to shop for my kids.’”
While he tells himself that he could still probably serve as a designated hitter, with his knees healthy and ranching keeping him strong and in shape, he wouldn’t want to give up the time he has with his daughters.
He rehabbed his left knee in 2016 after having his ACL repaired and prepared to play in 2017 before more knee troubles, but realized at some point that it was time for him to retire. He didn’t want a news conference or Josh Hamilton Day at the ballpark.
Hamilton just wanted to fade into the background.
“I just felt like it was time for me to be with them,” he said. “I felt like the girls needed me more than I needed baseball.”
But as busy as he is chauffeuring the girls and running errands and being a ranch hand, it doesn’t occupy all his time, and down time is the hardest time for Hamilton as he tries to remain sober.
He fell from the wagon on at least three public occasions during his career, in 2009 and in 2012 with the Rangers and in 2015 with the Angels. While the Rangers supported him, the Angels punt him and the $80 million remaining on his contract to the Rangers in April 2015.
Hamilton, who made connections with scores of other addicts and recovering addicts during his career, said that he is still fighting.
“There’s always thoughts about doing something I shouldn’t do,” Hamilton said. “But that’s going to be rest of my life. Don’t think about it. Don’t react. Don’t do it. It’s all good. Surround yourself with good people, people who love you and people who want you to do good, and now I’ve become a good contributing part of the community.
“Yeah, man, it’s all good.”