Josh Hamilton’s an amazing story — everyone knows about his comeback from drugs at this point. What a lot of people might not know is that he was an absolute monster when he played high school baseball in Raleigh, NC.
He could hit 99 on the radar gun from the mound and almost single handedly take care of all the offense he needed. But then he fell into the pitfalls of being a professional athlete and yada, yada, yada, he got addicted to crack and here we are today. What that means is that he’s the perfect person to chat about Bryce Harper, the teen sensation that was recently on the cover of SI. Which is exactly what WRAL did recently.
On particpating in the home run derby:
“Well, do I think I’ll be able to be back and could I do it? Probably. Do I think the Rangers will want me to do it? [Laughter ensues] I kind of have to listen to the guys who employ me.”
On advice to Bryce Harper:
“Stay grounded and stay focused on what you want to do. Don’t let the people — there will be a lot of people nagging and pulling at you — just remember who helped you get to where you are … It’s gonna be difficult at times, but just lean on the people who helped you get there, like your parents, and like I said, form a relationship with the Lord.”
On his parents pushing:
“Well, lots of people are going to say different things. I’ve always defended my parents. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me as far as them being able to see me and being able to be around all the time. I got Johnny Narron as an accountability partner and your parents are the best accountability partners you can have, and if anyone’s got anything to say about it, well, I can’t say that word on the radio.”
On the change to the pros:
“Nah, it won’t be the physical part of it … Biggest part will be the social part of it — you’ve got some veteran guys that will give him a hard time and stuff like that. How I took it, I went about it and just showed up and didn’t say anything until spoken to and I asked a lot of questions. And there will be some veterans who will take you in and show you the way, and those are the guys you want to hang around with.”