Josh Hamilton just gave a ton of people in Yankee Stadium and those of us watching on TV a massive home run orgy and series of orgasms with a first round of 28 dingers, as his seventy-something year old HS coach threw him batting practice pitches he nailed more than 500 feet, as his teammates Milton Bradley, Ian Kinsler, and Michael Young encouraged him while guys like David Ortiz and fellow competitors Justin Morneau, Lance Berkman, and others watched in awe.
It was a vulgar display of power, which obliterated Bobby Abreu’s one-round record of 24.
Of course, Hamilton lost the Derby — he couldn’t keep the power going, and when Morneau hit 5 in the final round, Hamilton could only muster 3.
But I don’t think anyone will notice that Morneau actually won, because it was Hamilton’s night — it was all about his comeback from drug addiction, his dreams, and as Hamilton himself said, his faith (I’m cynical about God shout-outs personally, but I’m not gonna hold that against him.)
Hamilton’s redemption is a wonderful story, to be sure. I hope it continues; he’s a great player to watch, but he is very lucky to have the grace of a second chance from a business and a media that doesn’t grant a lot of second chances.
Photo: AP/Julie Jacobson