Thursday, August 26, 2010
Non-HoF Autographs: Josh Hamilton
I snagged this autograph at a spring training game in 2009. Josh Hamilton played the first few innings and then headed to the showers. At this particular spring training park, the players had to exit the field by walking all the way down the first base line and out through a gate in the outfield wall.
Of course when the fans saw him sauntering down the long walk right in front of them, everyone clammored for an autograph (including me). He was nice enough to sign for a long period of time - long enough for me to make it from the opposite side of the stadium to where he was standing. Sadly he signed my ticket stub upside-down, but I guess that isn't that important.
Hamilton's career began as a super-prospect touted to become one of the greatest ever. A huge signing bonus led to living life large, and ended up leading to substance abuse problems. Many thought his career was finished, but he cleaned up, found religion, and has turned into the incredible major leaguer that everyone expected him to be. One wonders if his years facing his demons will cost him a shot at the Hall of Fame. I guess only time will tell.