Originally Created On:
October 29th, 2010 at 4:28 pm
With the World Series starting this week, I decided to write about how real estate help
ed a baseball player turn his life around. Josh Hamilton, the starting center fielder for the Texas Rangers, jeopardized his career as a professional baseball player back in 2001 when he battled drug addiction. A self described “walking dead man” was not the person he thought he would be after signing a $4 million dollar contract with the Tampa Bay Rays back in 1999. Hamilton was suspended several times, and was out of baseball in 2004. Eventually, he realized that his addiction was turning into something bigger than his potential major league career, and his talent was going to waste.
In an effort to sober up, Hamilton enrolled in rehab and shortly after reconnected with old friend Richard Davis, president and CEO of Trademark Properties. Davis gained notoriety by creating and hosting “Flip This House” on A&E and “The Real Deal” (most recently named “The Real Estate Pros”) on TLC. Hamilton’s life began to turn around when Davis hired him as his construction foreman on the very first episode of his new show titled, “A Home Run for Trademark.” The episode focused on baseball great, Joe Jackson, in which they purchased and “flipped” his former home into a museum, celebrating his talent and career. Richard helped Josh get a tryout with a minor league team. By the end of the episode Josh was signed to a minor league contract. They even filmed his first game. Because Hamilton was also suspended by MLB, this was his chance to prove to himself, his family, his former and future teammates and his fans that everyone deserves a second chance. And that he did. After watching that episode, I started following Hamilton’s career.
Hamilton overcame adversity when he beat his drug addiction. In 2007, Hamilton was signed by the Cincinnati Reds. At the 2008 All Star Home Run Derby, Josh wowed the crowd by breaking the record for first round home runs. I remember thinking, hey, that’s the guy from “Flip This House”. He most recently helped make history last week, when his team won the American League Championship Series, taking them into their first ever World Series.
Despite the success of the last few seasons, Hamilton was always able to remember what was important. After winning games, instead of celebrating with the rest of his team, he would speak to youth groups and fans who always reminded him that his story is much larger than him. “My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it’s never completely hopeless.
When the Rangers clinched the American League West title last month, Josh met with e church youth group, while his teammates celebrated with champagne. He cannot be around alcohol. I have a platform, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger.” Although his teammates admire and respect his dedication to remain sober and to be a role model to those battling similar addictions, they couldn’t let him walk away from the most important win in Rangers history dry. Instead of champagne, his team doused him in Ginger Ale as he entered the clubhouse. Hamilton is proof that hope is never lost, a message that to him, will always hit home.
Quotations taken from: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2926447