Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Natural

I know he's been called The Natural many times before, but honestly, have we ever seen a modern era baseball player like Josh Hamilton?  I don't think so.  Off the field his story is one of struggle and redemption.  On the field, it's one of unparalleled accomplishment.  Just when you think Josh can't out-do himself, he does.  And he did it again last night.

Josh hit not one, not two, not three but FOUR home runs against the Orioles.  And they weren't cheap home runs.  Each landed in either center field or left center field. 

I don't think the average sports fan realizes what a tremendous feat this is.  I'm guessing that most believe the toughest thing to do in baseball is to pitch a perfect game.  Yes, that is extremely hard to do and a perfect game has only been thrown 21 times in baseball history.  Hitting four home runs in one game?  That's been done only 16 times in the history of the game.  For those who are mathematically challenged, that would be five fewer times. 

By the end of the 10-3 Rangers win, Josh Hamilton had hit four home runs and one double, all of which resulted in 18 total bases.  The long-standing American League record of 16 total bases in one game was shared by six players.  Who did Josh surpass?  Well, two of the six are Lou Gehrig and Ty Cobb.  Not too shabby Mr. Hamilton!

Always humble, Josh described his performance as "a blessing."  Afterwards he said, "Just seeing how excited my teammates were, then touching home plate and going into the dugout, the reaction from them was the best part."  

He went on to say, "You don't go out and try to do that.  You just try to do the best you can, and if you break a record ... great.  You don't try to do that, you try to be the best player you can be for yourself and your team."

I've always thought of the Rangers as a very cohesive team, one that has hung together and stuck together through some heartbreaking losses and trying times.  That makes their successes, both team and individual, even sweeter.

"The best individual performance I have ever seen," said Rangers infielder Michael Young. "I've never seen anything like it.  It was fun to be a part of.  He's an incredible player."

He continued on to say, "I don't know if we'll ever see something like that again."

At the end of the season, Josh Hamilton will be a free agent.  Nolan Ryan, you better find a way to re-sign that boy!


Here's the list of the Elite 16.

    Player                   Team                           Date
Josh Hamilton           Texas                          05/08/2012
Carlos DelgadoToronto09/25/2003
Shawn GreenLos Angeles05/23/2002
Mike CameronSeattle05/02/2002
Mark WhitenSt. Louis09/07/1993
Bob HornerAtlanta07/06/1986
Mike SchmidtPhiladelphia04/17/1976
Willie MaysSan Francisco04/30/1961
Rocky ColavitoCleveland06/10/1959
Joe AdcockMilwaukee Braves  07/31/1954
Gil HodgesBrooklyn08/31/1950
Pat SeereyChicago07/18/1948
Chuck KleinPhiladelphia07/10/1936
Lou GehrigNew York06/03/1932
Ed DelahantyPhiladelphia07/13/1896
Bobby LoweBoston Beaneaters   05/30/1894


  1. Girl! You know your baseball! love it!!!

  2. And I love the way you write- and always enjoy and appreciate your posts!

  3. Today I read an article about the Rangers contract negotiations with Josh and one part of the article struck me as so funny/dumb.

    It said that the Rangers biggest concern in signing a long-term contract with Josh is the time that he's spent on the DL. Josh was on the DL five times in his first five seasons. In addition, he missed most of September 2010 because of a rib cage injury. 2008 was the only season he was free of injury.

    But when you look a Josh's numbers for each season, they are far better than what most players put up in an injury-free season. And in 2010, when he missed most of September, he was still named the American League's MVP.

    So, if that's the excuse for possibly not signing him, well, it's a totally lame one.