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Josh Hamilton: An Improbable Comeback

This Texas Rangers All-Star shares his tumultuous journey to baseball superstardom. Read Transcript


Reporter: HE HAS BEEN

CALLED A MODERN DAY MICKY

MANTLE.

TEXAS RANGERS' SLUGGER JOSH

HAMILTON IS ONE OF THE MOST

FEARED HITTERS IN THE GAME.

A LEGITIMATE HOMERUN EVERY

TIME HE STEPS TO THE PLATE.

BUT LIKE THE YANKEES'

LEGEND, HIS LIFE OFF THE

FIELD WAS ALMOST SHATTERED.

JUNE 2nd, 1999, THEY

DRAFTED JOSH HAMILTON WITH

THE NUMBER ONE OVERALL

PICK.

HE WAS ON THE FAST-TRACK TO

THE MAJORS UNTIL A CAR

ACCIDENT NEARLY KILLED HIM.

SIDELINED WITH INJURIES,

JOSH PASSED THE TIME HANGING

OUT WITH NEW FRIENDS AT A

TATTOO PARLOR.

I MY FIRST DRINK OF

ALCOHOL AND THE FIRST LINE

OF COCAINE THE SAME NIGHT.

I CAN'T SAY WHY I DID IT

OTHER THAN JUST CURIOUS.

Reporter: HIS CURIOSITY

LED TO ADDICTION.

AND JOSH CHECKED HIMSELF IN

AND OUT OF REHAB EIGHT

TIMES.

JOSH WAS SUSPENDED AND HIS

CAREER WAS IN JEOPARDY.

HE TRIED CLEANING UP HIS ACT

AFTER HE MET KATIE AND THE

TWO GOT MARRIED.

HE TOLD ME HE GOT OUT OF

REHAB AND HE WAS DRUG-FREE,

AND HE WAS AT THAT POINT.

I I WAS THINKING, HE IS

SAYING HE IS DRUG-FREE, AND

HE IS GOING TO STAY THAT

WAY.

I WAS CLEAN FOR FIVE

MONTHS WHEN WE GOT MARRIED.

WE GOT MARRIED IN DECEMBER,

AND I WENT BACK OUT AND

STARTED USING IN JANUARY.

I WAS FLOORED.

I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT.

OUR MARRIAGE WAS SO

COMPLETELY BROKEN, BUT YOU

COULDN'T EVEN SEE A WAY TO

TRY AND START TO FIX IT.

Reporter: JOSH QUIT

TAKING DRUG TESTS AND WAS

SUSPENDED AGAIN FROM

BASEBALL.

HE AND KATIE SEPARATED.

HIS BODY WAS TAKING A

BEATING FROM THE DRUGS AND

HE LOST 50 POUNDS.

THEN ONE NIGHT OUT OF

DESPERATION, HE SHOWED UP ON

HIS GRANDMOTHER'S DOORSTEP

AND ASKED IF SHE WOULD TAKE

HIM IN.

SHE HARDLY RECOGNIZED HER

GRANDSON.

SHE KNEW I WAS USING, AND

SAYING TO ME SHE KNEW WHAT I

WAS DOING.

SHE STARTED CRYING, SAYING

SHE COULDN'T TAKE IT

ANYMORE, SEEING ME LIKE

THAT.

I DON'T KNOW HOW HE WAS

SURVIVING.

HE WAS A SKELETON.

HE DIDN'T EVEN LOOK LIKE THE

SAME PERSON.

AND JUST MENTALLY, YOU KNOW,

I FELT LIKE HE DIDN'T HAVE

ANY GRASP ON REALITY.

Reporter: THAT'S WHEN

JOSH'S GRANDMOTHER

CHALLENGED HIM TO SURRENDER

HIS LIFE TO GOD.

SO JOSH STARTED READING THE

BIBLE, EVEN THOUGH HIS

ADDICTIONS STILL GNAWED AT

HIM.

I WOULD BE IN THE WORD

AND PRAYING, AND ALL OF A

SUDDEN ONE DAY I WOULD GO

THREE OR FOUR DAYS WITHOUT

DOING IT.

AND THEN I WOULD BE BACK

USING.

Reporter: TIMES WERE

TOUGH FOR KATIE.

I WAS COMPLETELY

DESPERATE FOR GOD.

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY

LIFE, I WAS DESPERATE FOR

HIM.

I NEEDED HIM, I NEEDED EVERY

BIT OF HIM I COULD GET

BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING IN

ME THAT COULD GET ME

THROUGH.

I WOULD BE IN MY CAR

PRAYING, AND I WOULD FEEL

GOD RIGHT THERE, BRINGING ME

SO MUCH PEACE AND JOY IN THE

MIDST OF A COMPLETE

DISASTER.

Reporter: KATIE CALLED

JOSH AND TOLD HIM SHE

BELIEVED SHE HEARD A MESSAGE

FROM GOD.

AND SHE SAID, JOSH, I'VE

BEEN PRAYING ABOUT IT, AND

GOD IS GOING TO LET YOU GO

BACK TO BASEBALL.

SHE SAID, IT'S TRUE, IT'S

BEEN LAID ON MY HEART.

IT IS NOT GOING TO BE ABOUT

BASEBALL.

IT'S GOING TO BE ABOUT WHERE

HE BROUGHT YOU FROM AND WHAT

HE BROUGHT YOU THROUGH.

Reporter: EVEN THOUGH

JOSH LAUGHED AT THE IDEA, IT

ENCOURAGED HIM TO CONTINUE

READING THE BIBLE.

AND KATIE KEPT PRAYING TO

GOD.

AND GOD JUST KEPT SAYING,

WAIT, JUST WAIT.

WHEN YOU'RE GOING THROUGH

TURMOIL, IT IS NOT THE

ANSWER YOU WANT TO HEAR, BUT

HE GAVE ME THE STRENGTH TO

CONTINUE TO WAIT ON HIM.

Reporter: AND SOON

KATIE'S PRAYERS WERE

ANSWERED.

WATCHING KATIE AND HER

RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, AND

HER LEANING ON HIM AND

DEPENDING ON HIM WHEN I WAS

DOING THAT TO HER.

ABOUT A MONTH OR TWO LATER,

WE STARTED GETTING BACK

TOGETHER.

Reporter: JOSH AND

KATIE RECONCILED, HE GAVE UP

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL, AND HE

WAS BAPTIZED.

JUST WATCHING THE

TRANSFORMATION THAT GOD HAS

MADE IN JOSH'S LIFE.

IT HAS BEEN SO AWESOME AND

SUCH A GIFT FROM THE LORD,

SEEING WHAT HE HAS DONE IN

HIM.

Reporter: AFTER THREE

YEARS AWAY FROM BASEBALL,

THE LEAGUE REINSTATED JOSH

HAMILTON.

IN SPRING TRAINING 2007, A

SHOCK TO THE BASEBALL

WORLD.

THE CINCINNATI REDS ADDED

JOSH TO THEIR ROSTER.

A YEAR LATER, HE WAS TRADED

TO THE RANGERS AND HIS

CAREER TOOK OFF.

HE IS A FOUR-TIME ALL-STAR

AND THE REIGNING M.V.P., AND

THESE DAYS HE WON'T EVEN

TOUCH ALCOHOL.

WHEN THE RANGERS CLINCHED

THE

PENNANT, HE CELEBRATED

WITH A COOL BOTTLE OF SODA.

THERE

IS NOTHING I DID,

EXCEPT TRY TO MAKE THE RIGHT

CHOICES AND LET GOD TAKE

OVER FROM THERE.

THERE IS ONE SOLID AND

PERMANENT WAY OUT OF IT, AND

THAT'S TO FIND THE LORD,

JESUS CHRIST.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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