Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 4/5/13
ARLINGTON, Texas While the boos and jeers rained down on Josh Hamilton during his return to Rangers Ballpark, he got some comforting words in the dugout. "He said, 'Where was Jesus got-after the most? His hometown,'" said the deeply religious Hamilton, who declined to name the source of inspiration. "Baseball wise, this is my hometown." It certainly wasn't a warm and fuzzy homecoming on Friday. Hamilton said he expected to get booed in his first game back as a Los Angeles Angel, it was just a matter of how much. Rangers fans didn't disappoint. Hamilton was booed during pregame introductions, through every at-bat and even while making defensive plays. He did get a standing ovation - after the first of his two strikeouts. "Honestly, man, that was louder than any playoff game I've ever been to," said Hamilton, who went 0-4 in a 3-2 loss to his former team. "I'm excited for them about that. Hopefully their fans can carry that all through the season for them." Hamilton spent five drama-filled seasons with the Rangers. He was cheered wildly during two runs to the World Series, including an MVP season, and was shown support despite lapses in his well-documented struggle with alcohol and substance abuse. But he left on bad terms after a season-ending slump and a critical defensive lapse as the Rangers lost their grip on the AL West lead. He was booed in his final game as a Ranger, the AL Wild Card loss to Baltimore. After signing with the Angels in the offseason, Hamilton further infuriated Texas fans by saying the Dallas-Fort Worth area wasn't a true baseball town. That's why the giant video screen at Rangers Ballpark flashed "Welcome to Baseball Town" just before play began. Fans also chanted "Baseball Town" at Hamilton during the game. "They paid to come to the game and they expressed themselves how they wanted to express themselves today," Hamilton said. "It was taken with a light heart, as far as it goes with me." Hamilton said before the game he made his comments about Dallas-Fort Worth fan because back in 2008, the Rangers would have light crowds on Friday nights in September. A teammate told him it was because high school football season had started. Although he said the Rangers' fan base has grown since then, on that point Hamilton remained steadfast. "I will never take back what I said until they show up every night for 30 years," Hamilton said. "But I'm glad I can help create spirit and fire in this town." Some of that fire singed on Friday, Hamilton confessed. "I'd lie to you if I said it didn't bother me a little bit. But it didn't, like, overwhelm me," Hamilton said. "It's what I expected." But Hamilton did say he was disappointed to find that Rangers fans are like fans anywhere else: changing uniforms also changes loyalties. "It probably hurts a little bit more to know that people would just turn that quickly," Hamilton said. "You know, to think that they kind of supported you, as far as personally, my story, things like that. It tells you a lot." Hamilton did have some fun with the crowd in right field. When the "Baseball Town" chant started up again, he mimicked throwing a football and making a handoff. "I messed with them a little bit," Hamilton said. "You've got to encourage them a little bit." It wasn't funny for him when he misplayed a ball hit to the corner in right field, allowing Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski to turn a double into a triple. Hamilton spent the majority of his time in Texas playing center field and left. "I was playing it to ride around the wall like it normally does," Hamilton said. "And trust me, I practiced it in the pregame. It hit the one spot where it shoots back out instead of riding it out." Hamilton's biggest struggles continued to be at the plate. He's now 1-for-16 on the season although his last two at-bats looked much better than the two strikeouts he started Friday's game with. "Would you blame me for being a little anxious?" Hamilton said. "The first couple of at-bats, I had an idea of what the Rangers were going to do to you. They've seen what other teams have tried to do to me over the years. I had an idea what Derek was going to try to do." Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Hamilton seemed to be drawing off the atmosphere of the game. "He understands the situation, he understands the way some of the fans feel," Scioscia said. "I'll tell you one thing, they definitely showed passion, that's for sure." Hamilton said his only concern was that his family was treated well in the stands. His family still lives in Texas and he plans to continue living here, no matter how he's treated during baseball season. Some fans held up newspapers during Hamilton's first at-bat, in a show of mock indifference, while others resorted to more personal attacks. "I got worn out just as good today as I have anywhere else. I've been chanted "crackhead" before in Yankee Stadium and places like that," said Hamilton, before chuckling. "They had a little chant going at one point, once the alcohol got flowing good." Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jarryd Hayne wants to return to NFL

Jones: I ‘scream in my pillow’ being at Super Bowl, not in it

Phil Jackson reportedly does not have opt-out until 2017

Byron Scott: D’Angelo Russell’s immaturity ‘at times’ a problem

Kevin Love: Shoulder injury ‘just a stinger’

Nets’ Joe Johnson would ‘welcome’ a trade


Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

Did Clippers reenact Paul Pierce stabbing during pregame intros?

Kobe Bryant gives LeBron James his game-worn Kobe 11s

The most and least improved MLB teams this offseason

Terrell Owens tells Skip Bayless to stop ‘misinforming’ people

8-year-old Panthers fan writes adorable letter to Cam Newton

Donovan McNabb: I did not throw up during Super Bowl loss

Seven teams that must target a quarterback in 2016 NFL draft

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

MLB 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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker