Last night Josh Hamilton became the 18th player in the 137 year history of Major League Baseball to hit 4 home runs in a single game. He hit two-run homers in the first, third and seventh innings and added another in the eighth. He also doubled to take his night to 5 for 5 with 8 RBI's. In doing this he also set the American League record for number of overall bases in a game with 18. Not too shabby for a guy with a past littered with drugs and alcohol.
Hamilton has some serious demons. He battles addiction nearly every day, it's one of the scariest parts about who he is as a person and as an athlete. Many around baseball see him as a risk, but he is one of the most talented players in the game. He does have the tendency to relapse because he is human, he admitted that he drank again over the winter. But he wants to be a better person, he wants to make his fans proud, and if they give him a chance, he will show up and give them a show. Last night is a perfect example.
Hamilton hit the home runs and basically showed up the entire franchise of the Baltimore Orioles with his exhibition of dominance. This has not been a good year for the Orioles in terms of embarrassing stories. At 19-11 they are 1 game back from having the best record in baseball, but they also lost to a community college team in spring training. Add this to the mix and i'm sure that they aren't too proud, but if they make the playoffs for the first time since the whole Jeffery Maier, Indians futility of the 1996-1997 seasons, they will look back on all of this and laugh.
Thanks to Keith Allison for the picture.