I posted this in the cheering/venting thread, but for posterity's sake:
Listen fellas, I think it's actually possible that Josh did hit 4 HR's. We know it's impossible to hit 3 HR's in a game, but there is no stipulation that you can't hit more than 3 HR's. I mean, I know he had to hit 3 before he could get to this fourth, but the game wasn't finished when he hit his third, hence, it creates a loophole making 4 possible.
In any case, in 27 games, Josh now has 14 HR's and 36 RBI (not to mention 25 runs and a .400+ BA). Those are just sick numbers. 27 is exactly 1/6 of 162, so his 162 game pace, using nice and easy elementary math, is 84 HR's, 216 RBI. Obviously, he won't keep it up, but still, to be on a .400+, 84 HR, 216 RBI (and for $hit$ and gigs, 150 Run) pace this far into the season is incredible. (I curse myself daily for not going the extra mile to get him in my main league's auction draft, as he was one of my primary targets, and obviously today, I am cursing myself far more than most).
Okay, so the following is a bit of a rant, and if not a rant, in fact it probably isn't a rant, then some of my thoughts on Hamilton and his story, career, etc.
I think it's a shame that his drug problems kept him out of the bigs until he was 26 years old. We were robbed of 5+ years of watching one of the most talented players of this generation (and it's a further shame that he's missed as many games due to injuries as he has thus far in his 5+ major league seasons, but for what I'm trying to say here that's neither here nor there).
Certainly, his story--from being taken number one overall, to his drug addiction, then hitting rock bottom, his eventual comeback (which many wrote off as much ado about nothing due to his having been away from the game for so long), and then his taking the league by storm, the move to Texas, the incredible Homerun Derby display (to this day one of my all-time favorite sports 'moments' and one of the most amazing displays of skill I've ever witnessed), winning the AL MVP, back-to-back AL championships, and now this: 4 HRs in a game--is as compelling, uplifting and inspiring a story as you're likely to encounter, not just about an athlete, but a human being in general, a story about a man clawing his way back from the depths of hell, finally embracing his life and utilizing his talents and climbing his way to the very pinnacle of his sport/profession/whatever.
Yes, that story is certainly more compelling, more interesting than that of an uber-talented 20 year old being called up to the big leagues after dominating at every stop in his swift rise through the minor leagues, putting up nice but unspectacular numbers for one or two years before blossoming into a full-blown super star before his 21st birthday. That is the story of Ken Griffey Jr. Think Miguel Cabrera. Justin Upton comes to mind. And now, we have Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. All of those guys, they're rare specimens. But Josh Hamilton is more rare. All of their stories are nice, stories of super talented individuals realizing that talent and excelling in their sport practically, and in some cases literally, before they could legally drink a Natty Light. But Josh Hamilton's story is epic, a story of a once in a generation talent, as talented, if not more talented, than those listed above, squandering that talent to smoke crack and meth and whatever else he could get his hands on, living in squalor and $hit for years, thinking only of when he was going to get his next fix, worrying about neither money nor appearance, family nor friends, and least of all baseball. For this man to to one day wake up, some 7 or so years after being drafted number one overall in the MLB draft, and to not only realize that he was wasting his life (realizing this is easy, for the drugs make it easy to not care, in fact, to simply forget all about what one might be missing out on), but make a point to change that, and from there to get clean and go back to the sport he once loved and reach its pinnacle, not at the ripe age of 20, 21, 22, but at the more advanced age of 27.
So yes, there are numerous examples of players who have taken the league by storm before they've legally consumed their first Jaeger Bomb, and of course more will come. But there is ONLY one Josh Hamilton. And while his story is incredible. Inspiring, bordering on the surreal. While it is certainly compelling enough that some day soon we'll probably find ourselves in line at the nearest AMC, waiting to buy tickets to, "To Hell and Back: The Josh Hamilton Story", I for one wish he were just another one of those numerous gifted athletes who got drafted, worked his way up the ranks, and became his own brand name before his last important birthday.
If I want a nice story, there's always fiction. I know they say that sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction, and in Josh's case, this may well be true. But I'd trade this amazing, and certainly feel good, story for 5 or 6 more years of watching Josh Hamilton do his thing on the baseball field.
Last edited by thatguy27 on Wed May 09, 2012 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.