Redemption for Josh Hamilton - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Redemption for Josh Hamilton

Hamilton suited up with the Angels in 2013 after time with the Reds and Rangers. (Facebook/Josh Hamilton) Hamilton suited up with the Angels in 2013 after time with the Reds and Rangers. (Facebook/Josh Hamilton)
FOX19 -

Texas Ranger and former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Josh Hamilton is scheduled to make yet another comeback Monday as he returns from surgery to play for the Rangers against Cleveland.

Hamilton has been the ultimate feel-good story and a crushing disappointment in one career. A high school can't miss prospect drafted number one by Tampa, his first stint in the bigs was derailed by drug and alcohol abuse. 

After missing more than three seasons, Hamilton got a chance with the Reds and he didn't disappoint with 19 homers and 47 RBIs in his rookie year in 2007.

Hamilton was able to control his demons in part because the Reds assigned someone to watch him almost 24/7. But there was grumbling in the clubhouse over his preferential treatment so he was traded to Texas.

He made the most of his time in Arlington, making the All Star team and being voted AL MVP. He turned that into a big free agent contract with the Angels but couldn't stay healthy and couldn't regain his swing.

And then, there were the relapses (now we know why the Reds kept someone with him day and night). One relapse in an Arizona bar made the internet, and then there was the self-reported alcohol and cocaine binge this past season. Add to that a shoulder surgery and a pending divorce, and Hamilton has aged well beyond his 34 years.

The Angels had had enough and ate much of his mega contract just to get him off the roster. The Rangers are hoping they, and he, can regain some MVP magic.

I always liked Hamilton while he was here and saw only a humble, if troubled, ball player who was thankful for another chance. How many chances will he get? Former Dodgers pitcher Steve Howe got nine and that story still ended tragically. We hope Hamilton's ends better.

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