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Josh Hamilton Relapse

February 3, 2012 by staff 

Josh Hamilton Relapse, Josh Hamilton might be the most talented baseball player in recent memory, maybe ever.

Consider this: As a 21-year-old outfielder in high Class A ball for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Hamilton, the No. 1 overall pick in 1999, left a game for personal reasons and was suspended by the team for more than three years because of drug and alcohol addictions. At that point, it seemed more likely Hamilton would wind up a cautionary tale told during rookie orientations than an everyday major league player.

Josh Hamilton won the 2010 AL MVP and has been one of the game’s top talents in recent years. (AP Photo)
Hamilton eventually got his problems under control and returned to baseball in 2006 as a 25-year-old, still in A-ball. He had 50 at-bats there, and the next season he started to terrorize major league pitching. He is a four-time All-Star, the 2010 AL MVP and came within one strike of being a World Series hero in 2011.

Fifty minor league at-bats at nearly the lowest level of the professional game are all Hamilton needed to get back on the baseball radar. I don’t care who you are-Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera-if you leave the sport for four years and don’t pick up a bat during that time, it should take you more than 50 at-bats to find the road back to superstardom. However, Hamilton is something of a baseball freak, a true phenom.

But Hamilton also has demons.

On Monday night, Hamilton had his second relapse with alcohol. By all accounts, including his own, Hamilton has stayed away from cocaine, crack, pills and other drugs that gripped him early in his career.

In January 2009, Hamilton was drunk in a bar in Tempe, Ariz., and photos surfaced of him with college coeds. Before the photos even were released, Hamilton confessed to his family, the Texas Rangers and Major League Baseball. All was forgiven and Hamilton hasn’t failed any drug tests and hadn’t been seen drinking since then.

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