The up and down career of Texas Rangers outfielder, Josh Hamilton, is way up today after becoming only the sixteenth player in MLB history to hit four home runs in one game. Hamilton has joined the company of such household names Lou Gehrig and Willie Mays.
The first player to hit four home runs in one game was Bobby Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters in 1894.
The last player to reach this milestone was Carlos Delgado of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003.
In last night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, which the Rangers won 10-3, Hamilton came close to hitting a fifth home run with a line drive to center field. That ball ended up dropping early and bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. No MLB player in history has hit five home runs in one game.
Baseball seems to be filled with statistics for every little detail, and NPR has reported a bit of trivia about Hamilton’s monumental night: Each of Hamilton’s homers scored two runs, and each time the same player was on base at the time: Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus.
Hamilton was a first-round draft pick in 1999 by Tampa Bay with a nearly $4 million signing bonus and joined their minor league system. But those early days were overshadowed with drug and alcohol addiction, which dragged him out of baseball altogether for a time. For the next several years, he had a rough go with rehab and recovery. He eventually proved himself enough for the Cincinnati Reds to take a chance on him in 2007, where he played for just one season before being traded to the Texas Rangers.
Hamilton had a stand-out season and was named to the American League All-Star team in 2008. He made the All-Star team for the next three seasons. He remains a fan favorite in the Home Run Derby, breaking Bobby Abreu’s record by hitting 28 home runs in the 2008 opening round and finishing with a total of 35, the second-most home runs in derby history.
In 2010, Josh Hamilton helped bring the Rangers to the World Series for the first time in franchise history and, in the process, was named the American League MVP.
The series of setbacks and comebacks has made him one of the most controversial players in the major leagues today, and his prowess on the field has won over legions of fans as he has continued to win against the odds.
But, everyone seems to love the underdog. In spite of his troubles, or because of them, Hamilton has developed a huge fan following, receiving a 22-second standing ovation for his first MLB appearance in 2007 with the Cincinnati Reds.
Filed under Entertainment
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
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