Josh Hamilton flourished with the Texas Rangers for five seasons, when the former No. 1 overall draft pick was the 2010 AL MVP and an All-Star each time after his career was almost permanently derailed by cocaine and alcohol addictions. With Hamilton on track to rejoin the Rangers in the majors later this month, after being traded back by the Los Angeles Angels, here are some of his highs and lows in Texas from 2008-12:
– 2008 (debut season in Texas): Hamilton had 50 RBIs faster than any other player in AL history (45 games), breaking a record that had been shared by Joe DiMaggio. Led the league with 130 RBIs. Hit 28 homers in the first round of the Home Run Derby.
– 2009: While limited to 89 games because of abdominal surgery and a strained rib muscle, he was photographed getting drunk in a bar in Arizona before that season.
Article continues below ...
– 2010: The MVP season, when Texas went to its first World Series. Hamilton had a majors-leading .359 batting average with 32 homers and 100 RBIs. He was MVP of the AL championship series, hitting .350 with four homers and seven RBIs against the New York Yankees.
– 2011: Hamilton missed six weeks early after breaking a bone in his right arm on a headfirst dive trying to score a run. Texas firefighter Shannon Stone died after he tumbled over railing in the left-field seats and fell headfirst 20 feet during a Rangers home game in July. He had reached out to grab a ball tossed to him by Hamilton, the favorite player of his young son who was with him. Hamilton’s two-run homer in the 10th inning of Game 6 in the World Series put Texas ahead 9-7, but St. Louis rallied to win the game and the series.
– 2012: In February, Hamilton publicly apologized for having multiple drinks during a night out in Dallas. In May, Hamilton became the 16th and most-recent player with four home runs in the same game (at Baltimore). He had a career-high 43 homers that season. In September, Hamilton missed five games because of an eye issue he said was caused by too much caffeine and energy drinks. He had one homer and 18 strikeouts his final 10 regular-season games, and in the finale dropped a routine popup that allowed Oakland to go ahead to stay in a division-clinching victory. He was booed in his last game for Texas, a home loss to Baltimore in the AL wild-card game, striking out twice on three pitches and grounding into a double play.