I love the story of Josh Hamilton. Every sports fan knows the details, but if you don't – here is the short version:
- He was the #1 draft pick in 1999 (Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
- In 2001 because of injuries and addictions, he was out of baseball. For years he struggled with alcohol and drug addictions (including crystal meth and crack cocaine).
- In 2007 he came back to baseball and spoke very clearly and openly about his faith in Christ.
- Since 2008, he has been one of baseball's best hitters, has been an all-star each year, and was the American League MVP in 2010.
- He speaks very clearly and openly about his faith in a way that I appreciate (some speak of their faith in a way that can discredit Christianity, in my mind).
- I truly believe he wants to play baseball in a way that pleases God.
- He has had two one-time relapses into alcohol – one was recent. Because of that, when they are on the road, opposing fans are ruthless to him.
OK – that is a quick background…here is what happened this week:
- This week, he hit four home runs in one game. That is an amazing feat! To put that into perspective, there have been 21 perfect games in Major League Baseball history (no hits, no runs, no errors – that is – no one gets on base from the opposing team). But there have only been 14 4-homer games. It truly is historic.
- He was recently on a TV show on ESPN called "PTI: Pardon the Interruption." I loved his cross-centered, Gospel-oriented answers to the questions. It was supposed to be a five minute segment and it turned into over 9 minutes. It is worth seeing – especially if you are a sports fan.
What I loved about the interview:
- He start his first answer with, "First of all, I want to thank my Lord Jesus Christ." A lot of Christian athletes do that, and I think a lot of "fakers" do that. You don't start every phrase that way. Let's not set that up as an expectation of Christian athletes. If they do that – that is fine, but the rest of an interview is what reveals their worldview. That is NOTHING against Tim Tebow, who tends to answer that way – because Tebow does has great biblical answers to questions. But there is a quiet depth to Josh Hamilton that I admire.
- I love his statement – about when the crowd was mocking him for his relapse – he said that the Holy Spirit said to him, "This is what Christ died for you for!" I LOVE that!
Take a look at the video here: (if you receive this by email, click HERE to see the video)