Monday, July 14, 2008

The Natural

I don't think I have EVER been more proud and happy for ANYONE in The Great Game. Tonight at Yankee Stadium, Josh Hamilton put on the show that so many believed he was, for so long, so capable of achieving. 28 Home Runs in the first round of The All Star Game Home Run Derby. An incredibly exciting moment for--a still young man--fighting every single day over his demons of drugs and alcohol addiction.

How fitting the performance in--"The House That Ruth Built"--occurred in the very last season of Yankee Stadium--the most honored Ballpark in American Sport.

Sitting in our home watching--Sohna and I actually stood and applauded his Herculean Effort. "The Natural" so long ago named--has now possibly turned his personage around. There is no question Josh Hamilton is THE GREATEST STORY IN THE GAME OF 2008. And I don't care a single lick that Josh did not ultimately win the Home Run Contest this evening, for Josh Hamilton is winning in the game of life--once again.

We only hope he continues improving on himself. Anybody that personally states: "Hope Is Never Lost" is worth rooting for. I can't tell you how happy "I WAS" to see him perform at New Nationals Park, just a few short weeks ago for The Texas Rangers. That man has the talent to be a true Triple Crown Threat. And make no mistake about it, Josh Hamilton has adoring fans in myself and The African Queen--Forever.

You just can't say enough about that man. How he and his closest family and friends have battled as a team on all his issues--to make his journey--A Memorable One Again--for all the good reasons. And the fact he asked a long time confident and supporter to assist him tonight in his quest--made the effort that much more special.

There is no more deserving player in the game as Comeback Player Of The Year. Maybe MVP of The American League.

Josh Hamilton is "The Natural". What A GREAT STORY!! Really, I don't think I could EVER BE PROUDER OF ONE ATHLETE!!

At nearly 49 years of age--I am not afraid to call Josh Hamilton--My Hero. I Love That Guy!!

His Comeback--Legendary. Keep it up Josh--you are worth remembering--and cheering for--every single day.

Tonight's InGame Photo--(Getty Images) Nick Laham


Anonymous said...

I also watched Josh Hamilton's first round. It may make the All-Star game anti-climactic.

Dave said...

I think the rules for that home run derby thing are silly. How can you throw out Hamilton's tremendous work in round 1 before determining the winner with a "clean slate" in round 3?

I think Justin Morneau realizes that nobody's going to remember that he won this thing next week. It'll be all about Hamilton in everybody's memory--as well it should.

Chris Needham said...

It's from last year, but you guys need to take the time to read Dave Sheinin's story on Hamilton

Screech's Best Friend said...

Yes, I have read that terrific story too. Thanks for sharing it.

Sam R said...


Lexi and I were with you guys in cheering on Hamilton. How exciting to hear the fans at Yankee Stadium rythmically chanting his name. We really thought Josh was gonna launch one outta that park.

Take me out to the Ballgame!


Anonymous said...

I was at the ESPN media press conference for the HR Derby when a reporter asked an open question to any one of the guys that would answer his question "Can anyone launch one out of Yankee Stadium"?
and Josh Hamilton piped up and said, "Sure, I am going to hit the subway" and it got a few chuckles in the crowd.

I have been to several HR Derby's including McGwire in Boston which was amazing, Sosa in Atlanta which was even more amazing and Pujols in Chicago, and then Ryan Howard in Pittsburgh.

I missed the Abreu show unfortunately in Detroit.

This by far was the best HR Derby when you consider the contestants didn't include the big names like ARod, David Ortiz, Manny Rameriz, Vlad Guerrero, and unfortunately Ryan Howard didn't make it.

Nobody expected this type of display Hamilton put on and he followed through on the out of the park HR as we saw it from BOX34 over the visitor's dugout (or so we thought it was out of Yankee Stadium). Almost everyone there thought the ball to centerfield went over the stadium wall above the Bank of America sign. AMAZING.

I put Josh Hamilton as my favorite to win it (which technically he didn't) while my friend said Berkman and another buddy picked Morneau as the sleeper as lefties would have the slight advantage.

Ryan Braun did a great job too as tops for the right handed batters as he is a 1st time All Star too in his first full year. Classy guy who signed autographs for everyone there.

Dan Uggla with his brother and son on the field were great too and many thought he would dominate.

Can't wait for the All Star game in DC and catch some HR balls in Section 104.

I will forward my photos to SBF after I upload as I got amazing pictures from the press conferences, the Derby, and picsfrom the FanFest which was the best one ever!!!

One of my buddies is personal friends with Guzy from their Minnesota days so he got Guzy up to my hotel room (we were all in the Grand Hyatt) and Guzy came up with his entourage. Before leaving I got him to sign a bunch of balls and some of his busted bats I lugged up to NYC. Great guy and he wasn't in the Derby but hung out on the field with 2 of his 3 kids.

Janet is right, the game tonight will be anti-climatic..... In fact, I agree so much I am going to the hotel lobby and sell my tickets and head back to DC!!!

By the way, I got pictures of Screech for SBF!!!! Yes, our Screech was there!!!

SenatorNat said...

Josh Hamilton's feat will now become part of Yankee Stadium lore; plus, it pushed Brett Farve's comeback out of the forefront of America's sportswaves for five blessed minutes. {Speaking of which: next week's cover of New Yorker has Brett sitting in a rocker knitting a Green Bay Packer sweater, watching his team play the Vikings on television, with a framed picture of Aaron Rogers over his mantle..."Sometimes satire just has to hold a mirror up to the absurd!" New Yorker's David Remnick is prepared to comment...}

Clock started ticking after 28 dingers posted on Hamilton's inevitable ascendency to play for NY Yankees, a la Bobby Abreau's performanace several years ago.

Nice of Josh to give all credit to Nationals young catcher, too, after the performance. (Joke, no offense intended, anyone.)

What made the derby fun was the fielding, too, by the youngsters - outshone Nationals outfielders this first half, unfortunately.

Trust in the redemption of Baseball. All Mighty.