Josh Hamilton says Holy Spirit led him through 2011 World Series homer, retirement

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
Josh Hamilton says the Holy Spirit guided him during his 2011 World Series Game 6 home run. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Josh Hamilton says the Holy Spirit guided him during his 2011 World Series Game 6 home run. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Josh Hamilton is preparing for his induction into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame with a look back at his career for The Players’ Tribune.

Hamilton, who will be honored Saturday alongside former Arlington mayor Richard Greene, said he was “meant to be in Texas.” He detailed how the organization became his family while he battled substance abuse and how the Holy Spirit guided him through his home home run in the 2011 World Series and his decision to retire.

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Holy Spirit told Hamilton he’d hit home run

Hamilton wrote it is “impossible” to list the amazing moments he experienced with the Rangers, and Game 6 of the 2011 World Series is one of the most special.

The Rangers and Cardinals were tied, 7-7, in the top of the 10th with a runner on first and Hamilton up to bat. He hit his first home run of the postseason to put the Rangers in the lead both for the game and to clinch the series.

Looking back, Hamilton recounted for The Players’ Tribune how the Holy Spirit told him what was about to unfold.

I remember up to that point, I hadn’t done much in the series with my bat. But then — baseball being baseball — we’re in that deciding game, and suddenly I’m in the on-deck circle, in extra innings, and I’m telling you, out of nowhere….

I hear the Holy Spirit talking to me.

This is the honest truth.

For real.

I’m standing there, getting ready to bat, and I hear it clear as day.

“You’re about to hit a homer right now, son.”

And I’m like, Huh … OK.

Then I take a couple more hacks in the on-deck circle. A few moments later, I walk up to the plate. Step into the box. And the very first pitch I see–

BLAMMO.

Home run.

The Cardinals scored two to tie it in the bottom half of the inning and David Freese, whose triple in the ninth forced extras, won St. Louis the game with an 11th-inning home run. The Rangers lost Game 7 and the series.

Hamilton retires 10 minutes after chopping wood

Hamilton hit a career-best 43 home runs in 2012, then spent two seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. He returned to Texas, but played only 50 games in the 2015 season as he dealt with a left knee injury. While rehabbing from surgery, he injured his right knee and the Rangers released him in April 2017.

But he wasn’t done, and at the time never used the word retirement. He wrote in the Players’ Tribune he “held out hope” of playing for the Rangers again when “something pretty crazy happened.”

Hamilton wrote he was chopping firewood at his Texas ranch and considering how to find his daughters, who had been home-schooled for five years, the right school.

So I just finish chopping a piece of wood, when all of a sudden the Holy Spirit starts talking to me.

Just like what happened back in St. Louis during Game 6. Same deal.

Anyway, I hear the voice again, and He says, “You know you’re scared.”

Hamilton said he had a conversation with the Holy Spirit — “I’m saying them out loud, out there on my ranch with the axe in my hand” — and it told him he was scared of being done with baseball.

“It’s OK to be done, you know,” He said. “I have something more for you after baseball.”

Man, let me tell you … it was really something hearing that. I’ll never forget those words.

“I have something more for you after baseball.”

I smiled. Didn’t say anything in response. Didn’t have to.

Then, 10 minutes later — literally 10 minutes later, after I’d finished up with the wood — I called my agent and told him the news.

Hamilton, 38, was a five-time All-Star and won both the 2010 AL MVP and ALCS MVP. He hit .290/.349/.516 over his nine-year career. The induction ceremony will be his first time back at Globe Life Park since he played.

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