I love baseball. I’ve played and followed it since I was 5 years old. One of the great stories of the last few years in the baseball world is the story of Josh Hamilton. In his autobiography, Beyond Belief, he unfolds his amazing journey.
A high school phenom, called by some “the greatest high school player ever,” Hamilton was taken with the first overall pick in the 1999 baseball draft. He had just graduated from high school and was only 18 years old. He tore up the minor leagues for two seasons and was poised to join the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the major leagues going into his third year. But the club decided to send him down. Coincidentally, the day he found out he got in a car accident, triggering a downward spiral that would last over 4 years. Hamilton went from a young man who had faith in God and loved his family deeply—to a renegade baseball player with almost 30 tattoos covering his body, suspended 4 different times by major league baseball for using drugs. For 4 years he went down hill about as fast as someone can, finally hitting rock bottom in late 2005, a total crack-addict who had abandoned his young wife and two daughters, his family, and had blown his nearly 4 million dollar signing bonus he received at age 18.
It looked like all was lost; he was practically out of baseball, poised to become just another “what might have been” story. That’s where his journey took a turn that is “beyond belief.”
Less than 3 years later Hamilton would be standing at Yankee Stadium, an all-star outfielder with the Texas Rangers. He would hit a record 28 home runs in one round of the Home Run Derby, at that point almost 3 years totally clean; a walking, breathing testament to the redemptive power of God through Jesus Christ. Beyond Belief is the story of how it all happened. In and out of 9 failed rehab center attempts, Hamilton overcame his addiction through the tough love of his grandmother and the power of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. This was a moving first hand account of one of the greatest examples of the transforming power of Jesus you will ever encounter. I recommend this book for any baseball fan.