ARLINGTON, Texas – Josh Hamilton’s 2013 season started with a rude reception in Arlington and it ended with one.
Hamilton, who flew out in his final at-bat to chants of “Baseball town”, tipped his helmet to the fans at Rangers Ballpark to a chorus of boos as he headed to the Los Angeles dugout for the final time in the ninth inning Sunday.
Hamilton said there was no ill will intended with the gesture.
“That was just to let them know no matter how bad they boo me or bring things up from my past, I still love them,” he said. “There was nothing sarcastic about it.”
The chant was in reference to Hamilton saying the area wasn’t a baseball town during the offseason. The Rangers drew more than three million fans for a second-consecutive year and finished second in the American League in attendance this season.
Hamilton isn’t sure if his chilly Texas reception will change in the future.
“I think it will be there ’til I don’t play for the Angels anymore,” he said. “It wasn’t any tougher than it was before. I’m OK with it. I still had a pretty good year in this park here against him.”
Hamilton, who was a five time All-Star and most valuable player winner during his five years in Texas, finished his first season in Los Angeles hitting a career low .250. He signed a five-year, $125-million deal with the Angels.
Hamilton was actually pleased to finish the season at .250, which is the highest his average has been all season.
“Where I was a month and half ago, that is something to be proud of,” he said. “Obviously I would have wanted to win. We talked about finishing strong.”
In the first series of the year, Hamilton’s wife Katie needed extra security against the Rangers because of some of the verbal abuse she took from fans while sitting in the stands.