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#pounditMonday, April 12, 2021

Josh Hamilton Apologizes to Rays for Using Drugs, Being a Bad Draft Pick

By now, the story of Josh Hamilton is well-known by all.  Hamilton was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays with the first overall selection in the 1999 draft.  He then took what was sure to be a bright future and dimmed it with drug and alcohol addiction problems.  From 2003-2005, Hamilton took time off from baseball as he dealt with personal problems.  He never played in a major league game for the Rays.

More than 10 years after Tampa Bay selected him, Hamilton has made an effort to make amends with the organization who invested so much in him and received so little in return.  Hamilton has since become one of the best hitters in the American League — an ALCS MVP whose teammates respect him so much that they once celebrated with ginger ale.  When the Rangers traveled to Tropicana Field for Game 4 of the ALDS on Monday, he apologized to the Rays for letting them down.

“I made amends, because I don’t think I ever had,” Hamilton told the Dallas Morning News. “They put a lot of time and effort into me, so I just made an apology, a few.”

Hamilton did not say by name who he had spoken with, but we know the people he was referring to are athletic trainers and front office employees.  The Rangers went on to clinch a spot in the ALCS with a victory, but I’m sure the Rays appreciated what was another remarkable step in the road to recovery for Hamilton.

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