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Rangers and their faithful honor Josh Hamilton Saturday night

Photo: Alex Plick/Dallas Sports Fanatic

Rangers and their faithful honor Josh Hamilton Saturday night

Throughout the week, year, and even the past six years, Ranger fans reminisced over the fondest of memories about Josh Hamilton (even us at Dallas Sports Fanatic). Fans gathered Saturday night at the ballpark to celebrate a fantastic six-year career with the Texas Rangers organization. The ceremony began with another induction. Former Arlington mayor, Richard Greene received the honor for keeping the club in Arlington. Greene, who’s probably the biggest Rangers fan out there, campaigned voters to keep the Rangers in Arlington and sure enough, the Rangers stayed in the DFW area.

Richard Greene showed his gratitude to not only Josh Hamilton, but to the residents of the city of Arlington and the Dallas area. “It gave me the opportunity to thank [Josh] for covering promises I made to voters for campaigners to build this ballpark.” Greene added,” I told them if they voted for it, one day we’ll get to the World Series. That promise was finally delivered in 2010 because of our good fortune to have Josh Hamilton in our lineup.”

The plaques honoring Richard Greene and Josh Hamilton in the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

Former teammates of Hamilton also spoke about the one of a kind talent Josh was.

“We already had some decent pieces before Josh arrived here,” Michael Young said. “All of this sudden Josh was up, and that changed everything. Josh was the one that started everything.”

David Murphy recalled a moment against the Oakland Athletics that showed his defensive range that Hamilton showcased daily. Rangers broadcaster John Rhadigan shared a story back in Boston. Josh hit a batting practice ball nearly one-hundred feet past the legendary “Red seat” where Ted Williams hit a home run back in 1946. Rhadigan talked to Ian Kinsler and Chris Davis at the time, and they were projecting where that baseball landed.

Throughout the night, Josh Hamilton’s appreciation towards the Rangers crowd, management, training staff, and the lord did not go unnoticed. Even Chris Woodward, who saw Hamilton a few times when he was in the big leagues, had a memory to share before the game.

Woody said he witnessed during the 2000 Spring Training at Al Lang Stadium (Spring Training home for the Rays). “Wind [was] blowing straight in that day. Our big league team, we took BP and not one guy hit a ball to the warning track, like not even close.” Chris Woodward said. The Blue Jays roster that year included guys like Carlos Delgado and Raul Mondesi.

Woody added that after batting practice, he witnessed some good swings from Josh. “He hits one to right field that goes out — looking at the flags seeing if anything has switched. The flags were still blowing straight in. [Later on] I was in the middle of saying something, and he hit one over the batters eye, at eighteen years old, straight into the wind. It literally stopped me mid-sentence, I hadn’t seen anybody come close to the warning track, let alone over a sixty-foot wall to center field. [I was] like who is this kid? What is going on here? Then they start talking about him, and that’s when the radar went off.”

Woody concluded, “He was one of those guys where you actually wanted to watch BP, like Barry Bonds, certain guys are different than everybody else. They put on a show.” Overall, it was Josh’s night, a night of smiles and a night of reminiscing of great memories. He opened up about the good and bad times, something rare for Josh to do, considering he doesn’t like talking in general. However, we can all agree that there’s a piece of Josh Hamilton in the hearts of the Texas Rangers faithful.

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX

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