MLB

Josh Hamilton, Former MLB All-Star, Faces up to 10 Years in Prison

Josh Hamilton, the five-time Major League Baseball All-Star, was indicted Monday on a felony charge stemming from an incident involving his daughter in October. A grand jury indicted the 38-year-old Hamilton on one count of injury to a child. If convicted, Hamilton faces up to 10 years in prison.

Josh Hamilton’s baseball life

On the baseball diamond, Josh Hamilton was as talented as they come. He was the first player taken in the 1999 MLB draft, selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Hamilton’s rise to the big leagues was derailed by substance abuse and he didn’t make his Major League Baseball debut until April 2, 2007 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. He played in 90 games for the Reds that year and smacked 19 home runs. 

In the offseason, Hamilton was traded to the Texas Rangers, where he grew as a Major League Baseball player. Hamilton made his first MLB All-Star team in his first season with the Rangers when he led the league in RBIs with 130. He also smacked 32 home runs and finished the season with a .304 batting average.

The 2008 season was the first of five straight all-star appearances for Hamilton. In 2010, Hamilton was crowned the MVP of the American League after hitting .359 and hitting 32 home runs and driving in 100 runs. In 2012, Hamilton became a free agent and inked a five-year deal worth $125 million. Hamilton was traded back to the Texas Rangers in 2015 but missed the entire 2016 season after undergoing three surgeries within nine months on his knee. He never played in the big leagues again.

Life off the baseball field

Josh Hamilton’s battle with substance abuse was well-documented right from the beginning. He knew he was an addict. He confronted his demons. And he even told the world what he was going through. In 2007, he told of how he hit rock bottom and now he was blessed to be playing Major League Baseball. He called his recovery ‘a God thing.’

“I go to sleep every night with a clear mind and a clear conscience,” Hamilton said in 2007. “Every day, I walk into an immaculate clubhouse with 10 TVs and all the food I can eat, a far cry from the rat-infested hellholes of my user past. I walk to my locker and change into a perfectly clean and pressed uniform that someone else hung up for me. I grab a bat and a glove and walk onto a beautifully manicured field to play a game for a living. How am I here? I can only shrug and say, ‘It’s a God thing.’ It’s the only possible explanation.”

In 2009, Hamilton admitted to having a relapse after the website Deadspin posted photos of him partying. In 2012, Hamilton appeared to have suffered another relapse when he was found drinking at a bar before teammate Ian Kinsler walked in and tried to get him to go home. It was reported in 2015 he had yet another relapse, one that involved both alcohol and cocaine.

Hamilton was charged in October

Josh Hamilton hit another rock bottom in his life when he was charged with injury to a child after his 14-year-old daughter told his ex-wife that he had struck her in October of 2019.

According to an affidavit by a Keller Police Department detective, Hamilton’s daughter told police that he went on a rampage Sept. 30. She says she made a comment to Hamilton that upset him, so he threw a full bottle overhand at her, hitting her in the chest, then cursed and shouted at her. He pulled away the chair on which she rested her feet and threw it, breaking the chair. It didn’t hit her, but he then grabbed her by the shoulders and lifted her from the chair on which she sat. She fell to the floor, and he lifted her up, threw her over his shoulder and carried her to her bedroom.

The girl said at this point she was telling Hamilton, “I’m sorry.” Upon reaching her bedroom door, he tossed the teen onto her bed, pressed her face onto the mattress and began hitting her legs with an open hand and closed fist. She said that after he finished striking her, he told her, “I hope you go in front of the f—ing judge and tell him what a terrible dad I am so I don’t have to see you anymore and you don’t have to come to my house again.”

Hamilton turned himself in to authorities Oct. 30 and was released the same day after posting $35,000 bond. On Monday, April 6, he was indicted on the one count of injury to a child.