ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A former Texas Rangers player who helped the team reach the World Series two years in a row and a former Arlington Mayor who helped make Globe Life Park possible, have been selected as the 21st and 22nd members of the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame, the Rangers announced in a news release Monday.
Outfielder Josh Hamilton was the offensive catalyst for a pair of American League Championship teams in 2010 and 2011, and former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene, was instrumental in the building of Globe Life Park in the early 1990’s.
This is the final season of Globe Life Park after 25 years as the Rangers will move across the street in 2020 to Globe Life Field.
Hamilton and Greene will be inducted prior to the Rangers game against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, August 17.
The on-field ceremony will begin at approximately 6:50 p.m. with the game time moved from 7:05 to 7:35 p.m.
The pair become the Rangers Hall of Fame’s first inductees since Michael Young in 2016.
“I’ve been making up for lost time with my girls, being Dad. Got a ranch towards College Station, spending time there,” Hamilton said Monday. “Hadn’t really thought much of baseball. It’s one of things where I never cared too much about watching the game, but I loved playing it more than anything.”
Hamilton, who turns 38 on Tuesday, hasn’t been to a Rangers game since playing in their 2015 regular season finale, though he went to spring training with the team the next two years after that.
Former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene, who during his tenure from 1987-97 played a major role in a getting the team a new stadium then and keeping the Rangers in Arlington, will join Hamilton in being inducted into the Texas hall in ceremony before an Aug. 17 against Minnesota.
“It’s a great honor. If I were to think about, 15 or 20 years ago, if I’d be in any Hall of Fame at this point in my life, I’d have said no,” Hamilton said. “So obviously, I gotta thank the good Lord above, and the Rangers where I had the best years of my career. And all the fans. It’s just very humbling … Thinking about good memories, good times in my life, and times where the Rangers stuck with me through some things and took a chance on me in other areas.”
After Hamilton was the first overall pick out of high school in the 1999 amateur draft by Tampa Bay, his career was nearly destroyed by cocaine and alcohol addiction. He returned to baseball with Cincinnati and made his big league debut in 2007, when he hit 19 homers in 90 games before getting traded to the Rangers. He was part of their only two World Series teams (2010 and 2011) and was an All-Star five seasons in a row.
There was that awe-inspiring display in the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium in 2008, when the first-time All-Star led the American League with 130 RBIs while hitting .304 with 32 homers in his first full season.
Hamilton left the Rangers in free agency, signing a $125 million, five-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels before the 2013 season. He was recovering from shoulder surgery when the Angels traded him back to Texas in 2015 after his two injury-plagued seasons with Los Angeles. He played 50 games for Texas in 2015, but never again after surgery on his left knee at least three times after that.
“The only thing I regret is not being able to be healthy when I came back to Texas,” he said. “If I look back and could wish something, it was that right there, if I could have been healthy in ’16 and ’17 and finish playing like I wanted to play.”
The former slugger said there are times if he sees a game that he gets a feeling that he could probably still play, at least as a designated hitter.
“There’s a feeling still inside of me that comes boiling up,” he said.
Hamilton hit .290 over his eight big league seasons, with 200 homers and 701 RBIs in 1,027 games.
He never officially announced his retirement, saying he wanted to “just slip off into the background” once he was ready to get to the ranch, get on a tractor and be a dad. He said he is enjoying life.
“I’d be lying to you if I said I still didn’t feel like I could get out there and play,” he said. “Then I remember why I quit. Just to be there for my girls.”
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)