Local News

Josh Hamilton returns to Raleigh for 'Homecoming'

Posted October 30, 2008 6:57 a.m. EDT
Updated October 30, 2008 7:39 p.m. EDT

— 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.