T.R.’s Memoirs: Josh Hamilton’s ride with Texas Rangers was as weird, wild as he was talented (Part II)
Josh Hamilton’s big breakthrough moment was in the 2008 Home Run Derby, where he was joined by another character in the Rangers’ clubhouse, Milton Bradley (The Associated Press/Kathy Willens).
Editor’s note: T.R. Sullivan covered the Texas Rangers over 32 years for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and MLB.com and is sharing his “memoirs” with this newsletter.
In this second of a three-part installment, Sullivan continues a look back at Josh Hamilton’s glorious and turbulent time with the Rangers. On the field and off, Hamilton was capable of being a big story almost every day.
The deal was announced Dec. 21, 2007. The Rangers had acquired outfielder Josh Hamilton from the Reds for pitchers Edinson Volquez and Danny Ray Herrera. The Rangers were hoping they had landed the big bat they needed for the middle of their order and a great athlete who could cover center field.
The trade landed at the top of the Star-Telegram sports page, but was hardly perceived to be a “blockbuster” at the same level as a July 31, 2007, trade with the Braves that sent Mark Teixeira to Atlanta for five players.
The Rangers certainly needed the offense, but there was still much doubt if Hamilton could provide what they needed. His past was certainly a question, but more immediate was his physical health. Hamilton went through a complete physical before the trade was completed and the Rangers were satisfied Hamilton would hold up.
We all know now this trade turned out to be one of the biggest in Rangers history, possibly the most significant move made by Jon Daniels in building a championship team.
It’s not a stretch to say Hamilton was the No. 1 reason why the Rangers won two American League pennants in 2010-11. He was that good.