My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


A Breath of Fresh Air 

If you don't like baseball, you are unlikely to know the name Josh Hamilton. In brief, Josh Hamilton was "The Natural"-- a first-round draft pick straight out of high school in 1999, his first contract included a $4 million bonus check. He was the type of player in high school who would hit the winning home run, then help clean out the dugout after the game, then make sure he gave his grandmother a kiss on the cheek before going to talk to the scouts [that last part from a former coach speaking on ESPN]. His early career was marked by astonishing successes; he was five-tool stud with a future as bright as the sun.

Unfortunately, he got a bit derailed on his way to the Hall of Fame. Too young, too much, too soon, he became the tragic stuff of After School specials: into drugs and alcohol, his game slipped and he got suspended from baseball. Just two years ago, he got cleaned up, was reinstated and started making up for lost time. In the first half of this season, he has 98 RBI playing for a Texas Rangers team that, while better than anybody thought it would be, is still nothing extraordinary.

By the way, 98 RBI on July 14th is, well, . . . pretty good. Like, top 25 all-time good.

Tonight, in Yankee Stadium, he put on a display of power in the Home Run Derby that nobody has ever seen before. In round one he hit 28 balls out of the park to set the record for homers in one round; three of those hits travelled over 500 feet--one and a half football fields!; the total distance of all those hits was estimated at 2.3 miles. Even just seeing the highlights, this was an extraordinary display.

What did he have to say about this explosion of talent and skill?

"You know, it's amazing, over the past few years, what God has done in my life, and how quickly He's done it, so, I just feel blessed . . ."

Can you, in a million years, imagine Barry Bonds saying such a thing? How about Terrell Owens, or Kobe Bryant, or any of the others who are in the top tier of the world of athletics?

Given the abyssmal season the Rockies are having, it might be worth following the Rangers for a little while. A good redemption story is always a welcome thing.

And a person at that level with that kind of humility deserves much good will and support.

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