ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – On a beautiful September night at Rangers Ballpark, a sell-out crowd enthusiastically cheers. Nolan Ryan slowly claps from his front-row seat, while Jon Daniels diligently keeps notes on everything around him! The scoreboard flashes the number 74 and Chuck Morgan proudly proclaims to the tens of thousands in attendance, “And the NEW single-season home run record belongs to YOUR Texas Ranger… Josh Hamilton!”
Sounds nice… and it might just happen.
In 2001, baseball’s juiced immortal Barry Bonds hit a record 73 HRs, 15 in the first 35 games of the season. In his first 35 games of the season, Josh Hamilton has blasted 18 HRs. Sure, it may be a little too early to predict, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. After giving up Hamilton’s 18th blast, Angels pitcher (and Hamilton’s former teammate) C.J. Wilson tweeted:
@str8edgeracer: I know a lot of people might want to pitch around Hamilton, but their lineup is too good. He might break Bonds record this year, no joke.
Without a doubt, this would be a bittersweet pill for baseball purists, should Hamilton stay healthy enough to break Bonds’ record. On one hand, the record books would be wiped clean of a drug user and rewritten with the name of a former drug abuser. However, the story of riches to rags to rehab to relapse to resurrection tugs at the heartstrings of a greater audience outside the baseball world.
In the end, the game will benefit, and Hamilton’s story will help conceal a blemish left on “the clear” face of baseball. Only time will tell.
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