Josh Hamilton has been a force in baseball since he was drafted at 18, though sadly, his battle with addiction has been publicized as much as his athleticism.
Josh’s powerful story is definitely one of Believable Hope; after years of struggling off the field as a Texas Ranger, certain factors ultimately came together to help him transform his life:
- Important, encouraging people in his life
- His strong connection with God
- An undying love of the game.
Even a recent relapse hasn’t stopped Josh on his journey to lifelong sobriety.
In 1999, the same year Josh was drafted as the #1 overall pick to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, he got his first craving for alcohol and cocaine. He spent the following years sufferering various physical injuries that held him back from playing, which led him to the party scene where he dove deeper into full-blown addiction. After attempting treatment to no avail, he was indefinitely banned from baseball for violating the MLB’s drug treatment and prevention program in 2005. So, he went on a crack binge; this was the “bottom” he so desperately needed.
A connection to God
Josh’s grandmother took him in when his drug addiction ruined his career and tore apart his marriage, though his wife was vigilant in sticking by his side in motivating him to get clean. His grandmother instilled in him Believable Hope through a connection to God that he believes resulted in getting clean, getting his wife back and returning to baseball. He’s now a five-time MLB All-Star and American League Most Valuable Player of 2010. This year, Hamilton became the 16th player in Major League history to hit four home runs in a game, and he received more votes than any other player on the All-Star Game ballot.
Josh maintains the life he loves
Josh spoke publically about his relapse this past February, and said he dealt with setback by studying his attitudes and actions, how and why he slipped and how he can learn from the relapse. As I explain in my book:
Josh’s story is incredible. As he continues on the road to recovery, he also continues to be an outstanding ball player. He serves as a role model for many aspiring athletes and as powerful voice in the Christian community. He takes full accountability for his addictions. And I feel a personal tie because his grandmother, like mine, has been a profound influence on the man he is today. About his transformation, Josh says, “It’s nothing I did except try to make the right choices and let God take over from there.” … Which sounds so close to the adage I say my grandmother exemplified: “If you do your part, God will do His.”
If you follow the 5 Essential Elements, you will succeed at beating addiction. This is the solution. Let Josh be just one example of Believable Hope.