Texas slugger Josh Hamilton appeared to be the front-runner for MVP before breaking two ribs Sept. 4 when he crashed into the outfield wall while making a catch in Minnesota . He missed the rest of the month and was slated to return to the lineup Friday night, hoping to shake off any rust in time for the postseason.
While he was away, the Rangers wrapped up the AL West title. And despite sitting out nearly four weeks, Hamilton was still leading the league in OPS, slugging percentage and batting average (.361).
After all, it was Hamilton’s summer hitting tear that carried Texas to a comfortable cushion en route to its first playoff berth since 1999. And for the multitalented outfielder, selected No. 1 overall in the 1999 draft by Tampa Bay, it’s the latest chapter in his remarkable comeback story from drug and alcohol addiction.
“Best player in the big leagues,” Red Sox infielder Mike Lowell said.
From Staff and Wire Reports
A funny moment from the dugout of the Texas Rangers in a game against the Los Angeles Angels. While I was taking photos of Josh Hamilton in the dugout this happened.
Texas Rangers’ Josh Hamilton tosses a handful of sunflower seeds towards his mouth during a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 30, 2010.
The rest of the photos from the game are in a slideshow posted here.