Ex-Rangers’ slugger joins ‘Josh Hamilton Night’ in Oakland

Josh Hamilton may not be good at hitting a baseball these days, but he sure is a good sport.

During an unsanctioned Josh Hamilton Appreciation Night in Oakland on Tuesday, Hamilton chatted with A’s fans in right field and even requested some of the Butterfinger candy bars that were displayed in his honor.

Josh Hamilton Appreciation Night was the idea of A’s fan Wes Mills as a spirited way to thank Hamilton for his dropped fly ball in Game 162 last season. The gaffe helped Oakland win the game and pass the Texas Rangers on the final day of the season to win the AL West title.

In a video posted on mlb.com, Hamilton is seen conversing with the A’s fans during batting practice. He apparently ate one of the small candy bars and had his back pocket stuffed with more to share with teammates.

“I never thought he’d be over here, first of all, let alone he would actually want Butterfingers, actually joking around with us about that awesome event,” said Mills, who goes by the Twitter handle @RFWes.

Mills promoted the idea of a Josh Hamilton Appreciation Night on Twitter. A Facebook page was created as well, prompting a spirited group of fans to show up in right field section 148 to welcome Hamilton, now with the Los Angeles Angels, on his first visit to Oakland since the dropped fly ball.

The fans stood and cheered Hamilton during the player introductions and chanted “Thank you Josh!”

The warm welcome didn’t help Hamilton’s struggles at the plate, however. Hamilton went 0-for-8 with three strikeouts in the 19-inning game won by Oakland, 10-8.

Ironically, Hamilton did make a diving catch in the bottom of the first inning to save a run. It must have been the Butterfinger.

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire