Fallen idol needs help back up


Autumn Keefer, News Editor

Josh Hamilton has had a rough couple of years. After becoming the number one draft pick in 1999, and going to the Tampa Bay Rays, the future looked bright for this young slugger. After playing in the minors, the world of Major League Baseball looked promising, until he fell under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He missed the 2004, 2005, and 2006 seasons due to his alcohol addiction, which seriously damaged his professional career.

Recently at a bar in Dallas, Josh Hamilton experienced his second relapse since becoming sober in 2005. The first post-sobriety encounter with alcohol took place in Arizona in 2009, when he ended up drinking and taking pictures with people that ended up all over the internet. Hamilton claimed he had a moment of weakness and didn’t mean for things to get out of hand.

What Hamilton did was wrong. The “I Am Second” spokesperson, professional baseball player, and hero to many made a mistake which could potentially damage his career. When you are a big name sports figure, mistakes cannot be made. However, I believe that he shouldn’t be looked at any other way besides the great player and man that he is.

A lifelong, die-hard Rangers fan, Hamilton caught my eye when he came to the Rangers. Not only is he an amazing player, he is really humble and appears to be a great person. His story about addiction and the work he put into preventing himself from falling under the influence again, made him my favorite. Some may call it an obsession. Apparently, posters, phone covers, desktop backgrounds, shirts, baseballs, baseball cards, and programs with his name and face on it are all part of an “unhealthy obsession”. On the contrary, it isn’t unhealthy at all, it is just a loyal fan supporting her hero.

What people may not know about Hamilton is all of the precautions he takes every time he goes out with the team. He cannot be around his teammates when they are drinking, instead he has to go away from the group and sit with his handler away from them so that he will not be tempted to drink with them. When the Rangers won the ALCS, instead of celebrating with champagne, they celebrated with ginger ale for Josh, honoring his absence from alcohol. He also isn’t allowed to carry more than $20 with him at a time so that he won’t be tempted to spend it on things that could prove harmful to him.

With all of these precautions taken, and all the years of hard work that he has put into his addiction, Hamilton has really and truly tried to turn his life around. With the support of his family, friends, and fans, he has really tried to come out of his addiction. Fans should not let this second relapse keep them from sticking to their hero. He already feels horrible as his mistake is proving to be a costly one. Every Josh Hamilton and Rangers fan just needs to realize and remember that everyone makes mistakes, even our heroes.