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Josh Hamilton
Josh Hamilton on May 10, 2012.jpg
Hamilton with the Rangers in 2012
Born: May 21, 1981 (1981-05-21) (age 40)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Batted: Left Threw: Left
April 2, 2007, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last appearance
October 4, 2015, for the Texas Rangers

Joshua Holt Hamilton (born May 21, 1981) is an American former professional baseball outfielder. He played for the Cincinnati Reds (2007), Texas Rangers (2008-2012, 2015), and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2013–2014). Hamilton is a five-time MLB All-Star and won the American League Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in 2010.

Josh Hamilton was the first overall pick in the 1999 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He was considered a blue chip prospect until injuries and a drug addiction derailed his career, beginning in 2001. Prior to the 2007 season, Hamilton was selected by the Chicago Cubs (picking for the Reds) in the Rule 5 draft. During the off-season he was traded to the Rangers.

During the 2008 season, Hamilton was named to the AL All-Star team. He also participated in the Home Run Derby, where he hit a record 28 home runs in the opening round and finished with 35 home runs, which was second-most all-time in derby history. He made the All-Star team the next four seasons as well.

In 2012, Hamilton received more votes than any other player on the All-Star Game ballot. Hamilton won the AL batting title in 2010. On October 22, 2010, Hamilton was selected as MVP of the 2010 ALCS. On November 23, 2010, Hamilton was named the 2010 AL MVP, earning 22 of 28 first-place votes. On May 8, 2012, Hamilton became the 16th player in MLB history to hit four home runs in a game.

Early career

Josh Hamilton at the Texas Rangers Spring Training Complex 2008

Hamilton was the first overall selection (by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays) in the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft. Shortly after the draft, Hamilton signed with Tampa Bay, receiving a $4 million signing bonus, and joined their minor league system. His first stop in the minors was the rookie level Princeton Devil Rays of the Appalachian League where he played 56 games.

He later joined the Hudson Valley Renegades, and helped lead them to their first New York-Penn League championship. After this successful debut in professional baseball, he spent the 2000 season with the Charleston RiverDogs in the South Atlantic League. At the start of his pro career, Hamilton's parents quit their jobs so they could travel with their son.

Prior to the 2001 season, Hamilton was involved in a car accident. His mother and father were also injured in the accident, but they recuperated from their injuries. The 2001 season also marked the beginning of his drug and alcohol use, and he made his first attempt at rehab.

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