I'm getting ready to watch the last baseball all-star game to be played in the 85 year old Yankee Stadium. In the event I fall asleep before it's over, or in all likelihood before it starts, I feel like I watched one of the stadium's most memorable moments last night, at least in my catalogue of memories.
It was the annual night before the all-star game homerun derby. It's an event that has lost a lot of its luster the last few years. The homerun derby and steroids once made a wonderful couple. When Major League Baseball decided otherwise and decided to break up the marriage, as right as the decision was for all concerned, those of us who love to watch balls disappear into the night sky have been left to remember the good ole days.
But last night, for a few brief moments, baseballs took flight once again. Josh Hamilton hit 28 homeruns in one round of the contest. He hit thirteen of them in a row. As awe inspiring as this was, it really wasn't even the story. This is a guy who was once rated by many scouts as the best high school player to ever play the game. He was drafted as a teenager and signed to a contract that included a 4 million dollar signing bonus. He used the money to fall in love with cocaine and alcohol, habits that would eventually take him out of the game for 3 years while he was in and out of rehab 8 different times. I encourage you to read this guy's remarkable story. Click to read story
It is an amazing story of faith, family, friends and commitment. I thought it was very telling when you discovered who Josh had pitch for him last night (each participant gets to pick who they want to pitch to them). He had his 71 year old former youth league coach from his home in North Carolina.
When you read this story you'll be able to feel the struggles this guy goes through every day, and the steps he takes to avoid the disaster that waits around every corner. I'm glad that he is so willing to share his story with others who may receive just the inspiration they need to overcome their own hardships.