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Hamilton Is Such an Inspiration To Many

July 17, 2008

It's been a long time since I was actually moved by something in baseball, but on Monday night it happened - that goosebumps down your spine feeling you get when something special occurs.

And it didn't happen via a walk-off home run or a perfect pitching performance. Heck it wasn't even a real baseball game, but during a contest - the home run derby.

I have to say that after watching Texas slugger Josh Hamilton set a new record for homers in the first round of the derby, I'm now his biggest fan.

Not because of how many dingers he hit or how far he hit them, but for the pure fact that he was there doing it.

By now everyone knows about Hamilton's past drug addiction and what he had to overcome just to get the opportunity to go yard at the final All-Star game at Yankee Stadium. But unless you've actually witnessed someone fighting the terrible problem first hand, you can't really appreciate what the Rangers' star has accomplished.

The entire situation hit home in a big way for me, and while watching television Monday night, I couldn't help but to reminisce about a member of my family who still continues to fight the fight.

He too was a baseball player, and actually a very good one at a young age. And like most kids, he dreamed of someday making it to the big leagues and having everything he ever wanted.

And just like Hamilton, he got caught in that deceitful web, which for most is impossible to ever escape. Unlike Hamilton, however, he's lost the battle time and time again, despite putting up the dukes and going at it full force.

That's why to many folks, Hamilton's accomplishment off the field, rather than on, is what makes him a hero. He was actually able to defeat an almost unbeatable opponent, which trumps anything he will ever do on the diamond where many predict the sky's the limit for the young rising star.

In a time when it's an every day occurrence to pick up the paper and see athletes' names tied drug abuse, Hamilton is a breath of fresh air.

Now a role model to the many individuals and families having to deal with drug addiction, Hamilton can continue to inspire with his story of how he went from rock bottom to the top of the world.

Hopefully one former little league star who is close to my heart, will take notice and begin living the field of dreams of life, like that of Hamilton.

SIGNING ON: West Virginia University's new football staff continued its successful run at landing recruits on Wednesday when Ryan Spiker became the Mountaineers' 12th commitment for the 2009 class, the Zanesville Times Recorder reported.

The 6-3, 280-pound senior reportedly chose the Mountaineers over Michigan State, North Carolina State, Indiana, Wake Forest and Cincinnati.

Spiker, who hails from Tri-Valley High School in Dresden, Ohio, is the fourth lineman recruited by the Mountaineers for 2009. ranked Spiker 31st among guards nationally.



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