Originally written on Next Impulse Sports  |  Last updated 7/15/13
This is not an All-Star Game throwback.  However, today is the day we get to see the best All-Star Game event of any sport.  So, we decided to give you one of the better Home Run Derby stories of all time.  Let’s go back to 2008, when gas was below $2.00, Pluto was being denigrated from planet status, and Josh Hamilton was still a relatively unknown prospect whose past addiction problems created an unlikely success story that very few can rival. Josh Hamilton was selected #1 overall in the 1999 draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as a can’t-miss prospect.  Hamilton, though, never stepped onto a major league team’s baseball field until 2007.  After toiling in the minors for 3+ years, Hamilton spent the next three out of baseball and in rehab facilities.  Becoming addicted to pain killers after a major accident involving himself and his parents (where no one was seriously injured), Hamilton never checked back in with reality.  The Rays, who felt like they had given Hamilton numerous opportunities to clean up his act, left him off of their 40-man roster after the 2006 season.  This made him eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, in which any other team can select a player, but must agree to keep that player on their roster for the entirety of the season or they must sell back the player to the team he was drafted from.  In this Rule 5 Draft, the Chicago Cubs chose Hamilton with the 3rd overall pick, but then immediately sent him to Cincinnati for $100,000.  Can you say mistake?  The Reds kept Hamilton on their roster for the year, and after a modestly played 90 games in which he hit .297 with 19 HRs and 47 RBIs, Hamilton was traded to the Texas Rangers for two players. The Rangers, feeling like they had a steal, immediately made Hamilton their starting center fielder and placed him as their #3 hitter in the lineup.  Things then began to really take off for Hamilton.  After being selected for the All-Star team for batting .310 with 21 HRs, 95 RBIs (the 5th most ever at the time), Hamilton was notified that he had also been selected for the Home Run Derby.  Already a fan favorite for his pleasant demeanor and lifelong fight versus addiction, Hamilton stepped into the batter’s box that July 14th evening in the Bronx and made history.   Although Hamilton did not go on to win the 2008 HR Derby (he lost int he finals to Justin Morneau), he was the real winner.  He made everyone take notice of his strong will to overcome a disease while also showcasing his natural ability to absolutely obliterate a baseball.  Hamilton’s 28 dingers in the first round is the most ever for a HR Derby and may never be broken.  Hamilton went on to make the next 4 All-Star teams, took home 3 Silver Slugger Awards during that time, and won the 2010 MVP Award.  Before this season, Hamilton inked a 5 year / $125 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.  It’s safe to say that Hamilton has made the best of a terrible situation, using his addiction troubles as motivation, and making his life story is a Disney feel-good movie waiting to happen. [MLB, Wiki] Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Miguel Cabrera headed to disabled list for 1st time in career

Report: San Antonio Spurs to sign LaMarcus Aldridge

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo

Mavs solidify future, sign Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan

A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

Report: Robin Lopez, Knicks finalizing four-year deal

Becky Hammon will coach Spurs' Summer League team

Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: ‘I don’t think we have any issues’

All hope isn't completely lost for this year's Milwaukee Brewers

Report: Pacers, Lakers Discussing Roy Hibbert Trade

Watch: Pablo Sandoval falls over railing during catch

Report: Green Bay Packers’ player charged with firing a gun in Miami

Kawhi, LaMarcus, the mid-range and the Spurs' next epoch

Tennis: How can Rafael Nadal regain his dominance?

NBA Rumors: Cavs and Spurs vying for David West

Damian Lillard is the Blazers’ new franchise player

Bryce Harper flaunts patriotic bat, hits home run

Report: Magic will sign Tobias Harris to 4-year deal

The top American sports moments since the last Fourth of July

Nine former college football rivalries that need to come back

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.