Josh Hamilton went where he had never gone during his speech following his induction to the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame, telling fans at Globe Life Park about his regret in signing with the Los Angeles Angels.
Hamilton started his speech by telling the crowd he was going to tell his back story and preach some to them, and it was in that vein that he spoke about his decision to leave the Rangers in December 2012 to take a five-year, $125 million offer from the Angels.
“When you look at my career, you can probably see when I was asking and receiving God’s guidance and when I wasn’t,” he said. “I think it’s perfectly clear, such as leaving and going to the Angels. Not God’s guidance.
“That is something I have always struggled with, that being back the old proverbial wheel and saying, ‘You know what, lord? I think I can handle this now.’ The cool, funny and scary thing is God lets you, and away you go. Before you know it, you look up and say, ‘How did I end up here?’ Or, even worse, ‘Where am I?’”
Hamilton played two seasons with the Angels in 2013 and 2014, finishing with only 31 homers and 123 RBIs. He admitted to a relapse early in 2015, and the Angels actively tried to trade him.
They shipped him and all the remaining money on his contract to the Rangers, where he played the final 50 games of his career.
Hamilton did not go scorched earth on the Angels. He said later, when meeting with media after the on-field ceremony, that signing with the Angels was a blessing that allowed him to provide for his daughters and probably their daughters and sons.
But he came to the realize that the Rangers were where he belonged.
“Texas has always felt like home, so I got back here as quick as I could,” Hamilton said. “It’s a blessing that I went to the Angels, and, yeah, I’m taking care of my kids. I got paid, but it’s not all about that. I really should have prayed more and harder before I made any kind of decision.”