I was watching ESPNEWS this morning, getting the latest scores and highlights like I normally do. Most of the time, I watch it to see if the Red Sox won and the Yankees lost. Before they showed highlights of those games, they showed the Rangers/Rays from last night. The Rays won 7-4, but that wasn't the interesting part.
In the bottom of the ninth, Josh Hamilton came up to bat with the bases loaded and his team down 7-3. The Rays manager had his pitcher intentionally walk Hamilton! I"ll say it again, the Rays manager had his pitcher intentionally walk Hamilton and force in a run! For those that aren't big baseball fans like me, this is something that hardly ever happens. Josh Hamilton is only the 4th player in major league history to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded. And he is the 1st American league player in 107 years to do it. This is a sign at how respected he is as a ballplayer.
After watching them show it on ESPNEWS, I just thought to myself how amazing it was at how far Hamilton has come.
He has gone from a highly touted #1 overall draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays, to being a drug addict out of baseball completely, to fighting his way back to an All-Star season for the Texas Rangers this season. He wrote a story for ESPN.com last season while he was with the Cincinnati Reds about his recovery and what got him through it all. Please take a look and read it here http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2926447 .
I can definitely relate to Hamilton in my own personal way. His dream was to play major league baseball. I had a goal of graduating college. Along the way, I encountered many hurdles and obstacles. Some of them were self imposed, some of them were not. Throughout these many years of attempting to finish school, I considered quitting many times. But deep down inside, I always knew that I could do it.
I'm sure that many people doubted my ability to focus and graduate. Hamilton also had many doubters. The one thing that we both had in common was that we had God on our side.
I still have a couple of more semesters to go, but I will be graduating in April of '09 with my bachelors degree. If you or anyone that you know has ever felt given up on, pass along this story of Josh Hamilton. He shows that through Christ, you can accomplish anything. In the words of the late, great Jim Valvano, "Don't give up, don't ever give up".