I love baseball…baseball, baseball, baseball…….. I grew up watching and playing the game. I’ve been a fan for years, and so biographies of the players always interest me. Enter one Josh Hamilton.
I wasn’t really all that familiar with Josh’s story until I watched the Home Run Derby at the All Star game this summer. WOW, this guy was jacking them over the fence (and a few nearly out of Yankee Stadium) one by one. But that wasn’t what made this night so special, what made this night so special is who Josh Hamilton is, or rather, who he has become.
Josh grew up with what people in sports would call the intangible “it”. Nobody really can define “it” but “it” is something beyond a natural ability to play the game. Josh had “it” all throughout his growing up in North Carolina. He was drafted #1 by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at 19 years old. He was the good kid and was always a role model to others. Then, another phase of Josh’s life took place. It was a phase filled with alcohol, rebellion, cocaine, crack, violence, sorry, and letting others down. The baseball player who had “it” turned into no more than a waste of flesh walking the world seeking his next high.
This book is so much more than a biography of a baseball player. It’s a story of God’s undeserved mercy and grace on a man who has been given a platform by God, for God. You won’t find Josh shying away from proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ in this book, nor will you find him making excuses for his past behavior. What you will find in this book is a story about a man with all the talent in the world (think of the movie The Natural) and wasted that talent for many years. I don’t believe God gives us the proverbial “second chance” but rather our lives are following the script He’s writing out. Josh’s past is part of His script, but the beauty is that Josh’s future, redeemed through Christ, is as well. It is a future of a man saved by God’s mercy and grace. A grace that found Josh right where he was; broken, good as dead, and ruined. It’s a grace that restored Josh, not to just play baseball, but that the name of Jesus might be glorified in Josh’s life.
If you’re looking for a gift to buy somebody who loves the game of baseball, buy this book for them without hesitation. They will be thankful that you did!