Even if you’re a Yankees fan, you had to see last Friday night coming. Sure, I’ve long enjoyed the glory Yankee greats like A-Rod and Derek Jeter have spoken back on Jesus Christ upon winning the World Series, cue Yankee fans who list the Christians I didn’t know where on the team, but at least in this round of the playoffs, there was no stopping Josh Hamilton.
If you’re not familiar with Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton, imagine Tim Tebow + David Robinson + AC Green + Reggie White. He’s like some sort of genetically engineered Christian athlete made in a lab of awesomeness. In fact, here are five reasons Josh Hamilton is probably going to end up being the Christian athlete of the Century. (Did I just proclaim that 90 years before the century ends? I did. I’m bold like that, like a really fresh flavor of deodorant. Besides, I’ll be dead before the century ends.)
Five reasons Josh Hamilton is the Christian athlete of the century
His story is one of tremendous redemption. He was the number 1 draft pick in 1999. He was a five tool player, equipped with other planet abilities. But then he threw it all away on drugs and alcohol. Professional sports are virtually impossible to play for more than a few years. The average NFL career is 3.2 years and major league baseball players come and go. It’s crazy that Hamilton came back from his pit. When asked he how he did, he replied, “Giving glory to God is the reason I am where I am.”
2. David vs. Goliath
The team Hamilton plays for, the Texas Rangers collectively as a team makes less than A-Rod and Derek Jeter. Let me rephrase that, two guys on the Yankees make more money than all the other Texas Rangers combined. That is wild. What a David versus Goliath story. The Yankees were going for their 28th World Series too, and that’s approximately how many I believe the Philistines would have won as well.
3. Josh fell
Josh stumbled. He relapsed. He didn’t just need a second chance, he needed a third chance. And how did he deal with it? He was honest. I heard him discuss his relapse with me and roughly 13,000 other people at the Catalyst Conference. Then he threw a football into the crowd and almost snapped someone’s sternum clean in half. Both of those events were awesome in their own way.
4. Parade of God
Rappers always give a shout out to God. In the midst of enjoying a nice jolly rancher flavored sip of “Drank,” they’ll say, “Shout out to God.” Josh? What did he say? When asked about the game, he referenced Joshua. The book of Joshua. You don’t casually bust out some Joshua. Watching the post game interviews with Hamilton was like seeing faith in 3D. It was awesome.
5. Ginger Ale
When they won the game, the Rangers bypassed the famous champagne shower and instead pour ginger ale on each other. Why? Because they love Josh and as someone who struggles with substance abuse they don’t want to do that to him. When they talk about locker rooms and guys who are “cancers” to them and the bad chemistry that can exist, you get a sense of how much politics are alive and well in professional sports. But on the night they won a trip to their first ever World Series, the Rangers completely rewrote the play book and busted out some ginger ale. That’s a huge testament to Josh’s impact on that team.
There is a chance that growing up in Massachusetts with the Red Sox did not prepare me to fairly write about the Yankees. I admit, that is very true. But there is little denying how awesome Josh Hamilton is, which is why I am more than happy to announce he’s the Christian athlete of the century.
What do you think?