Texas Rangers all-star outfielder Josh Hamilton didn’t even win the Home Run Derby on Monday night at Yankee Stadium, but he put on a powerful home run hitting display that will never be forgotten by those in attendance or who watched on ESPN.
Hamilton hit 28 homers in the first round off of his 71-year old pitcher Claybon Counsil that he flew up from his home state of North Carolina. Hamilton had promised him years ago if he ever was in the derby that he would have Clay pitch to him.
But there was still a second round which Hamilton sat out of half of since he already had enough dingers from round one to advance to the finals against the Twins Justin Morneau who out homered an exhausted Hamilton in the final round 5-3.
Since the winner of the Derby is kind of irrelevant in the grand scheme of sports, if MLB had their way, they’d have probably stopped the contest after Hamilton’s 28. Unfortunately, they put these rules in place, and by gum, they’re going to stick to them. As a result, Hamilton’s reserve power stored in his arm ink finally dried up, and Morneau’s five homers in the final was enough to beat the redeemed Ranger’s three.
By now most sports fans know the fairytale story of Josh Hamilton. He was the first overall pick in the MLB draft several years ago by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He got addicted to drugs and alcohol and was even suspended from baseball and away from the game for three years.
But in 2006 while still away from the game he had a dream that became a reality on Monday night.
There’s also Josh Hamilton’s Dream. It’s a famous dream now, a dream he had back in the winter of 2006. But it was a dream that made no sense at the time, because he had it at a time when he was still suspended from baseball for drug abuse, back when he was, therefore, about as far away from this place as a bunch of aliens from Neptune. He’d dreamed that night that he was taking part in a Home Run Derby — in Yankee Stadium. Of course. It was a dream that couldn’t possibly come true. And then it did. Whoah. Did it ever. In the dream, though, he never saw himself actually swinging the bat. He remembers only being interviewed afterward on ESPN, and describing how he’d gotten to this miraculous point, through the power and the grace of God.
Another amazing chapter was written by Josh on Monday night at Yankee Stadium in a story that feels to good and too unbelievable to actually be true.