Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Great Story of Redemption

Amazing story out of Yankee Stadium last night. Josh Hamilton, a once-can't-miss #1 draft pick who has battled drug addictions only to make his way back to majors the past couple of years, put on a display at the Home Run Derby that will be talked about for years.

He hit 28 home runs...in the first round.

Yeah, he hit 28 home runs before he hit 10 outs (any swing that's not a home run). He hit 13 straight swings out at one point.

This great story is even better when you learn how Hamilton beat drugs and addiction. He became a Christian a few years ago, and the Lord has decided to use him in a great way. There's no way he should be where he is now, but the Lord wanted him there last night...showing the world his story of redemption...and never failing to acknowledge that he's only there because of how the Lord transformed his life.

Jason Stark from ESPN:

And then, the next thing you know, there he is on this stage, doing this beneath the eyeballs of America, in a ballpark that represents a living, breathing home-run museum. Accompanied by his own 71-year-old personal pitcher named Claybon Counsil, summoned from North Carolina for this occasion, as Josh Hamilton's reward for all those BP fastballs Counsil has been serving up to anyone interested for the last three decades.

Friends, you can't make this stuff up.

But hold on. There's more. There's also Josh Hamilton's Dream. It's a famous dream now, a dream he had back in the winter of 2006. But it was a dream that made no sense at the time, because he had it at a time when he was still suspended from baseball for drug abuse, back when he was, therefore, about as far away from this place as a bunch of aliens from Neptune. He'd dreamed that night that he was taking part in a Home Run Derby -- in Yankee Stadium.

Of course. It was a dream that couldn't possibly come true. And then it did. Whoah. Did it ever.

In the dream, though, he never saw himself actually swinging the bat. He remembers only being interviewed afterward on ESPN, and describing how he'd gotten to this miraculous point, through the power and the grace of God.

But now, here he was, 2½ long years later, and he got to find out how it all turned out. How beautiful was that?

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