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August 25, 2019
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Josh Hamilton joining Rangers Hall of Fame

Josh Hamilton joining Rangers Hall of Fame

T.R. Sullivan

ARLINGTON — The Rangers have had many great players over the years, but they’ve had only one Josh Hamilton.
They have had All-Stars and MVPs, Gold Glovers and Silver Sluggers, but nobody who could electrify the Globe Life Park crowd offensively, defensively and running the bases like Hamilton.
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ARLINGTON — The Rangers have had many great players over the years, but they’ve had only one Josh Hamilton.

They have had All-Stars and MVPs, Gold Glovers and Silver Sluggers, but nobody who could electrify the Globe Life Park crowd offensively, defensively and running the bases like Hamilton.

Whether it was a home run into the upper deck or a spectacular catch against the center-field wall, Hamilton was easily the most gifted player to wear a Rangers uniform. As flawed and tumultuous as his personal life was, his play on the field helped bring about some of the greatest moments in Texas history.

“Josh was the most talented player on our best clubs,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “He did everything easy. Guys that size don’t typically move like that, but he did. And more than the talent, he just had — and I think he still does — that special ‘it factor,’ where everything he says or does stands out, including his connection to the fans. He helped elevate the franchise like few before or since have.”

Rangers fans will never forget him, and on Saturday, they will get one more chance to show their appreciation. Hamilton and former Arlington mayor Richard Greene are being inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame before their game against the Twins.

Greene will be an excellent addition to the Hall of Fame. He was the man who led the no-holds-barred fight to keep the Rangers in Arlington back in the late 1980s. Rangers fans owe him a lasting debt.

But even the honorable mayor, a lifelong Rangers fan, will admit that Hamilton’s return to Globe Life Park is a must-see event.

It will be a magical night with emotional speeches, fitting tributes and the video board filled with so many great moments from 2008-12, when Hamilton led the Rangers to two World Series. There is much to remember about Hamilton, but he is clear about how he would like to be remembered.

“Very simply, somebody who when he was playing, gave it what he had,” Hamilton said. “Some people liked it, some people loved it, some people didn’t care for it, because they wanted me to stay healthy and play, but one of the things I was always told by different managers, coaches, whatever, was, ‘Your 80 percent is just as good as some guys’ 100 percent, so if you get a ball off the wall, just let it go off the wall,’ and certain [things] like that. But I didn’t have fun unless I was playing all-out, trying to do everything I could to help the team win ballgames.”

Hamilton and Greene will be the 21st and 22nd members of the Rangers Hall of Fame. The on-field ceremony will begin at approximately 6:45 p.m. CT on Saturday, with the starting time of the Texas-Minnesota game moved from 7:05 to 7:35 p.m. A number of current Rangers Hall of Fame members will attend the ceremony with Fox Sports Southwest’s John Rhadigan serving as master of ceremonies. The pair become the Rangers Hall of Fame’s first inductees since Michael Young in 2016.

“I’m excited for Josh,” Young said. “He was such a talented player, a perennial All-Star. He deserves to have an organization that celebrates his legacy and a place he can really call home.”

Hamilton was acquired in a trade from the Reds in the offseason of 2007-08, and he was an All-Star for five straight years. He was also the American League’s Most Valuable Player Award winner in ’10, when he won his only batting title with a .359 average. That was the year he was named MVP of the AL Championship Series as the Rangers defeated the Yankees in six games to advance to the World Series.

The Rangers went back to the World Series in 2011 before losing to the Cardinals in seven games. In ’12, Hamilton put up a career-best 43 home runs. He hit four homers and a double in one game against the Orioles on May 8, 2012.

Hamilton played the next two seasons with the Angels before returning to the Rangers in 2015. Knee injuries forced him out of the game, and he has lived a quiet life between his home in Keller and his ranch in southeast Texas. This will be his first appearance at Globe Life Park since his playing career ended.

“Obviously an unbelievable talent,” third baseman Adrian Beltre said. “We all thought it was going to last longer, because the guy was a freak. He was so talented offensively and defensively, he could fly around the bases and hit the ball 600 feet. We all loved Josh.”

The Rangers have a ticket special for Saturday in honor of Hamilton’s Hall of Fame induction. Fans can purchase two upper-level tickets for just $32, which was Josh’s uniform number, by using coupon code HAMILTON at texasrangers.com/hamilton.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.



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