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Hamilton Reflects on Historic Game

Charles E. Sutton | , WI Staff Writer | 5/15/2012, 10:16 a.m.

Rangers Star Who's Battled Substance Addiction Alammed 4 Homers

Josh Hamilton thinks it will take some time before he fully appreciates the importance of becoming the 16th player in baseball history to hit four home runs in a game.

He does, however, understand how fortunate he was to be playing baseball at Camden Yards as a member of the Texas Rangers on the night of May 8. Truth is, prior to his monumental performance against the Baltimore Orioles, Hamilton had to do something far more difficult than hitting four two-run homers.

He had to fight to save himself from personal ruin. Hamilton went from being a first round pick by Tampa Bay in 1999 to completely out of baseball because of drug and alcohol addiction.

Hamilton recovered and returned to the majors in 2007 with Cincinnati, and was traded to Texas, where he became a star. In 2010 he was named American League MVP, while still battling his addiction. He relapsed prior to the start of this season, but is off to a scorching start.

Only a handful of today's major leaguers are playing at Hamilton's level. He's hitting .402 and leads the majors with 18 homers and 44 RBI.

After going 5 for 5 with a career-high eight RBIs and establishing an American League record with 18 total bases in the Rangers' 10-3 victory, Hamilton reflected on what his life was like before such an unforgettable night.

"I think about what God's done in my life, everything I did to mess it up," he said. "To finally surrender everything and pursue that relationship with Christ on a daily basis and understanding when I don't pursue it, I end up messing up," Hamilton continued. "Understanding that what I'm doing and what God's allowed me to do, coming back from everything I went through and allowing me to play the game at the level I play it, it's pretty amazing to think about it."