ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Josh Hamilton’s bat has been the gift that keeps on giving this season, in more ways than one.
It’s not often that Rangers fans would pay money just to stand next to a bat, but this wasn’t just any bat, and it the money wasn’t going to just any cause.
The Rangers Center Fielder has hit 18 home runs so far in 2012, and 8 of those came off a custom Louisville Slugger he had to retire Sunday night after the handle cracked.
Hamilton’s bat is heading for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York; but before it shipped out, fans had the chance to take their picture with it for a $5 donation to the Texas Rangers Foundation.
Fan Mario Zamora, decked out in his Hamilton jersey, simply had to get a picture with his young son. “It’s something worthwhile to take a look at,” he said as he prepared to pose his son in front of the bat.
The bat was used in Hamilton’s historic 4-home run game last Tuesday in Baltimore. He tied a Major League record that has only been accomplished 16 times before.
“What Josh accomplished was a huge feat, and as a club we wanted fans to be able to see something before it goes to the hall of fame, and at the same time give the fans a chance to help out the Texas Rangers foundation,” said the foundation’s Karen Morris.
An estimated 400 fans gave the donation for their picture, giving roughly $2,000 to help programs like MLB’s Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities initiative and health-related programs the Rangers Foundation hosts.
And if Hamilton keeps swinging for the fences like he has been doing, Zamora says the bat won’t be the only thing enshrined in Cooperstown some day. “Hamilton is one of those players who puts everything into it. He will go into the hall of fame.”