A Ballad to Josh Hamilton

On Wednesday I had the joy of seeing my first Frisco game this season. My baseball loving friend from California was in town so I thought I’d show him what a RoughRiders game was all about. We were given the privilege of watching Mr. Josh Hamilton in his final game in Frisco. We were also awarded the privilege of experiencing national field trip day with thousands of screaming children and Sponge-Bob sing-a-longs and the like. If you’ve been to an 11 o’clock Frisco game you know what I’m talking about. I was also allowed to witness a sight I hadn’t seen in quite some time: a Josh Hamilton homer that didn’t make me sad.

It made me remember the good times with ole Hamilton. All those exciting diving catches, more so the ones where he wasn’t injured. It reminded me of all the clutch homers including this shot which I thought would live in Rangers lore as a more positive memory than it did.

I’ll always savor the sweet defeated tone of Joe Buck and his precious Cardinals being dealt that gut punch in such a critical moment. I forget what happened later in that game but I know I hated David Freese for it. I love looking back on the good times with old number 32 because there were so many. We are all so quick to forget and according to our interactive fan poll, I see we are also quick to forgive. Yes Hamilton has hurt us in the past. There have been many a key whiff, a key ground into a double play, and many an excuse. But for right now, I don’t care. This is my message to Josh Hamilton should I ever get the chance to meet him.

Thank you Josh for your years of service to the Texas Rangers. You were the first baseball player that drew me to tune in every day to catch which amazing feat you would accomplish on that day. Baseball was most fun to watch as a fan when you were out there with that classic Josh Hamilton grin smashing the daylights out of baseballs and doing other things on a diamond others could only dream of doing. Texas Ranger’s baseball hasn’t quite been the same without you. Yeah we’ve had some fun memories since you left. There are a few new studs I’m sure you’ll meet. Most of all I’m just excited you will be back in Arlington soon because we all know it’s where you belong.

I know life has thrown you a few curveballs lately and those are tough for you to handle. Personally I couldn’t even hit fastballs so I’m not one to throw unnecessary criticism. Most true fans are just happy you will be back in that red white and blue soon, I know I will be. Your story has been an inspirational one of triumph over hardship and heartwarming dedication to personal betterment. Stories like yours are why people like me love sports so much. Despite what some folks in California might have told you these past few months your story is not over. The last chapter sucked for you. We know because we read it intently and most were heartbroken by the setbacks you faced. Yet if there is one blurb of this run on fan girl session I’d like you to actually hear it’s this part. My pastor once shared a sentiment with me that I think you need to hear:

“Our struggles do not define us unless we allow them to. What defines us is our triumphs over these struggles.”

Call me what you will but I think good ole number 32 has a few more breath taking moments in store for the world. I sure am glad he will be doing so with the name of the greatest state on earth stamped across his chest. Whenever he steps into Arlington for the first time I desperately want this song to play.

I’m ready to see Mr. Hamilton do more of these things, and especially these things in a Ranger uniform again. How about you?

Brice Paterik
Brice is a Junior Journalism major at Texas Tech University in pursuit of a career in Sports Journalism. Growing up in Dallas his whole life, Brice has been a Rangers fan since before he batted against a machine. He's a sucker for a high ceiling athletic prospect without a hit tool or 20 year olds who throw 100 mph and can't hit the zone. He over values every prospect and is a hopeless romantic for baseball. She's broken his heart a million times but he will always come back for more.

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