Jun 6, 2009

Most Memorable Sports Moment - #10

Josh Hamilton's HR Derby Tirade

Ok. This won't make a whole lot of Top 50 moments in the grand scheme of sports, but for me, last year's Home Run Derby performance by Josh Hamilton was one of the greatest individual sports moments I have ever seen. It was made all the more special by the knowledge of what this dude has been through since being the #1 draft pick in 1999. After an accident took him out of baseball for a while, Josh turned to drugs and hanging out with the wrong crowd. It eventually destroyed much of his life and led to a suspension from the one thing that mattered most to him - playing ball. He was chased by his demons for several years until he finally surrendered to Christ in his grandmother's home. He then began his long journey back to the major leagues.

As if Josh's return to baseball wasn't enough of a story of redemption and grace, he began the 2008 season on a tear knocking the cover off the ball. He received an invite to play in the HR derby at Yankee Stadium. After watching several other competitors, Josh strode to the plate, and the fun begins. He began to belt monster shots all over Yankee Stadium. He hit three hr's that were measured over 500 feet! He averaged 453 feet per homer. When the first round ended, Josh had 28 hr's - the highest ever in one round - and the story of grace had another amazing chapter. Josh signed autographs and high-fived teammates between swings and obviously had a great time. Unfortunately, he hit a power outage in the final, losing to Justin Morneau. However, even Morneau had to admit that the night was all about Josh Hamilton. This story of grace, power, redemption, glory, and salvation left all who saw it in awe. So this makes my Top Ten Most Memorable Sports Moments.