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Josh Hamilton returns to Raleigh for 'Homecoming'

Posted October 30, 2008

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— Before baseball star Josh Hamilton was a Texas Ranger, he was an Athens Drive High School Jaguar. He returned to his alma mater Thursday night to shoot an episode of a new ESPN series, “Homecoming.”

Hamilton’s friends, family, former teammates, coaches and teachers were in the school’s gym to welcome him.

The school made free tickets available for those who wanted to watch the taping earlier this week.

Hamilton’s record-setting home-run-derby performance during the July All-Star break solidified his position as a fan favorite.

Propelled by his talent and what some call one of the most amazing comeback stories in sports, he has been an open book about his drug addiction and how he overcame it.

Hamilton has been clean since Oct. 6, 2005. When asked about what got him through his recovery, he said, "It's a God thing."

He has been making the rounds promoting his book, “Beyond Belief.” The book might be made in to a movie at some point.

WRAL News, an affiliate of CBS, was unable to record the event, because "Homecoming" will air on ABC, a rival network.


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  • csmac99 Oct 30, 2008

    Saw him speak once - thought he was a humble knucklehead. His wife did most of the speaking for him. Good story, though. Hopefully he won't screw up again. I do miss the daily updates in the sports section of the newspaper - "Josh didn't play last night.....".

  • carolinagirl19 Oct 30, 2008

    the whole story is not out.. not that the rest is good nor bad.. just different..


    Who cares what this jock has done. Maybe you people should cheer for the real heros in the country. Praising jocks and celebrities is just plain stupid!

  • luv my peeps Oct 30, 2008

    I wouldn't say he has told the WHOLE story. We shouldn't idolize people we don't really know.

  • luv my peeps Oct 30, 2008

    Welcome home!

  • luv my peeps Oct 30, 2008


  • CatsCheer2000 Oct 30, 2008

    Went to high school with Josh and knew him well. Awesome story. The book is great as well. So glad he's doing well! Can't wait to see where his talents take him. Way to go Josh!

  • bigpinkstork Oct 30, 2008

    I'm happy that this young man was able to turn his life around and pursue his chosen career. It's too bad that most young people on drugs fall into legal trouble, and the resulting criminal records keep them from pursuing education, career, etc. We need to take a more rehabilitative stance to drug addiction--the current, punitive model isn't working. This man's triumph shows that rehabilitation is possible, so why do we consign so much of our youth to the trash heap?

  • rybail Oct 30, 2008

    This man is a true class act. He should be admired for his honesty and for putting his difficult past into light, not for any financial gain but rather to teach our young ones that no matter who you are, we are all human. When he comes to our church to talk, I will make it a point for my 11 yr old to be there with open ears. Welcome home Josh...and yes, it very much is a God thing!

  • lbnblakesmom Oct 30, 2008

    I'm so glad he's been open about his past. It gives our young people something to look up to, imo. My son will be getting one of Josh's shirts for Christmas, one of the few things he's asked for. Way to go Josh, I for one, am very proud of you!