A Fan’s Take: Josh Hamilton’s Struggle with Addiction

In Major League Baseball it’s easy to judge a player because of their actions. Whether they have a DUI, they have taken steroids or if it’s an addiction. I admit that it’s easy to judge a player due to a mistake they made but sometimes some players shouldn’t be judged on mistakes. After reading the autobiography of Josh Hamilton, it opened my eyes as to how much addiction can impact a life and a career and how it’s not an easy thing to ask for help or make a change.

Being a die-hard fan and blog writer for the New York Yankees, I wouldn’t usually pick up a book of another team and read it from start to finish but for some reason while browsing the Sports section of the now defunct Borders in early August of 2011, I came across Josh Hamilton’s autobiography “Beyond Belief: Finding The Strength To Come Back.” I was surrounded by books about the Yankees dynasty, books about Derek Jeter and even the official guide of the 2011 season but for some odd reason after I read the blurb of Hamilton’s autobiography, the Yankees didn’t interest me. I sat down by one of the windows as I started to read the book and the more I read, the more I became engulfed in his story.

Being a young player drafted in the 1999 MLB draft he looked as if he had a promising career until in the early 2000’s he started messing with drugs and alcohol. His addiction was blinding and it was to the point where he almost didn’t have a baseball career. Hamilton explained the pain, the heartbreak and the struggling issues that addiction comes with until he realized that he needed to turn it around. And change his life into a positive thing.

It took me an hour and a half to take in every word that Hamilton had written on the crisp pages and after I finished the book I had respect for Hamilton. It’s not an easy thing to admit that there was a problem, and it certainly wasn’t easy to fight the horrible habit and attempt to turn his life around.

When I read that Hamilton had once again relapsed in February of 2012, some fans were easy to judge, but they have to understand that sending negative vibes isn’t going to help the problem. Right now what Hamilton needs is support and prayers from his family, his friends and his fans. He needs to know that the fans are on his side and that no matter what, they will stand by him.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that baseball players are human and they do make mistakes but there is an agenda as to why they do what they do. Baseball players that use drugs just to simply cheat don’t have my respect, but players like Josh Hamilton that are trying to turn their life around but end up relapsing have my empathy and support because one of these days I know that Hamilton is going to fight this habit and he’s going to overcome all odds and obstacles to win the battle. As we all know, we can’t battle addiction in a day or a year, but we have to keep on trying.

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