Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Everybody at least kind of knows the Josh Hamilton story, right? If you don't, I'll give you a little recap: He was the number one pick in the 1999 baseball draft, given a $4 million signing bonus. His parents had quit their jobs to follow their 20-year-old son around the minor leagues to make sure he'd be alright, but a dump truck ran a red light and smashed into his mothers car. She and Hamilton's father went back to North Carolina for her to rehab and Hamilton was on his own. So, being 21 years old with $4 million dollars in the bank and living in shithole Florida, Hamilton went straight downhill. Drugs and alcohol eventually ruined him and he was pretty much kicked out of baseball. He made his way back (and it really is a fantastic story, so read it when you get the time) and now he's one of the two biggest stars on the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers beat the Rays (the team that drafted Hamilton, ironically) last night to move on to the ALCS for the first time in franchise history. As a recovering addict, Hamilton skipped the postgame celebration after the Rangers cliched the West title because he didn't want to be around the champagne spraying all over the place. He was prepared to do the same last night, but the rest of the team had a surprise for him.
ESPN -- ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Josh Hamilton's teammates weren't going to celebrate without him this time.
As soon as the Texas Rangers hugged on the field and headed for the tunnel following a 5-1 ALDS Game 5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, the clubhouse attendants told Hamilton to get his goggles on.
"I was getting a little worried," Hamilton said. "I didn't know what was going on."
Hamilton, who has battled drug and alcohol addiction, said it's best for him not to be around champagne. So he walked into the clubhouse to find his teammates waiting on him and holding bottles of Canada Dry ginger ale.
"Everybody yelled 'Ginger ale!' and I just jumped in the middle of the pile and they doused me with it," Hamilton said. "It was the coolest thing for my teammates to understand why I can't be a part of the celebration, and for them to adapt it for me to be a part of it says a lot about my teammates."
Awesome, right? Rangers pitcher CJ Wilson was equally happy with the Ginger Ale celebration, but not because he's a recovering addict—but because he's straight edge. Seriously. He's got X's stitched into his glove and everything. And he dropped a couple of tweets about it, too.
@str8edgeracer - #gingeralecelebration because josh and I are both polarized on avoiding alcohol but wanted to be in on the party. Straightedge/drug free fun
I hate Texas as a whole, but it's hard to hate the Rangers after this.

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