Hamilton Strikes Out Again In Texas
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From the Editor’s Desk ***There will be no highlights,captions or additional statistics in this article. Some of the articles we have are of the seriously opinionated angle that doesn’t warrant these peripheral things to a post.****
By Brooke Robinson (Rangers Correspondent): Follow @bka_9
Baseball fans in Texas were heartbroken in December when the news broke of OF Josh Hamilton signing with the rival Angels. Many had grown to love his personality and ability on and off the field, even buying Hamilton jerseys when he signed with his new team. The Slugger had given several good seasons to the fans in Arlington, however bitter it did end. So you could imagine the turmoil in Texas after his interview February 17 with comments regarding the Dallas/Fort Worth area and its fans. In an interview with CBS, Hamilton gave a few choice words about the area not being a “true baseball town” and that the fans there were “spoiled, quickly”. You would have thought Nolan Ryan left for the Yankees.
There are several reasons behind the Texas fans anger, beyond his recent signing. After the Slugger’s rehab stint when he was with Tampa Bay, almost no team wanted him. The Rangers front office took a chance on him when they traded one of their top prospects to Cincinnati for him in late 2007. Fans learned of his comeback story, and soon enough the words “Rangers” and “Hamilton” were synonymous. Even during the Outfielder’s two relapses in 2009 and 2012, fans rallied around to show their support for his recovery, even voting him into the 2012 All-Star Game. When the incident occurred with a fan death in 2011, fans made sure Hamilton did not bear the weight of the tragedy. The most they had ever been upset was during his botched play in game 162 of the 2012 season, where he seemed indifferent while playing.
Ranger fans were enraged by his words in the interview. Many reacted by purchasing tickets to the opening day series against the Angels. Others used social media as a way to communicate with Hamilton directly. Several Twitter users dug up the Outfielder’s tweet from the previous season where he thanked Ranger fans for being the “best in baseball’. Pretty quick turnaround. Some fans have started a movement for silence during his at bats when he returns to the Ballpark in Arlington. The movement was created by a Texas native with the Twitter account named @Silence4Josh, who encourages Ranger fans to pay Hamilton the least amount of attention as possible on his return. The account has also created T-shirts in Texas red and blue with the words “Baseball Town Since 1972” across the front.
As a Rangers fan myself, the things he said were disappointing. The Ballpark in Arlington roared every single time his name was spoken. Hamilton was supported more than probably any player in the team history. The organization picked him up from the bottom and put him on a pedestal for the whole baseball world to marvel. The team and fans gave him all the support he needed, even in the bad times. All the fans asked for in return was for no negativity. So when a player who has been with the team less time (Mike Napoli), and a player considered the face of the franchise (Michael Young) part with the team and still give their appreciation, it shows Hamilton’s character.
Needless to say, the Ballpark in Arlington is the place to be on April 5, 2013.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
A big thank-you goes out to our ‘Rangers Correspondent’ Brooke Robinson for preparing today’s featured article. Brooke is a junior Sport Management major at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. Spending time at the Texas Rangers spring training facility in Arizona and seeing all of the prospects are what she loves most about baseball. Feel free to follow Brooke on twitter and talk the game of baseball with her. Follow @bka_9
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Posted on February 25, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @bka_9 on twitter, AL West, anaheim angels, brooke robinson, cincinnati reds, dallas ft worth, josh hamilton, Los Angeles, michael young, mike napoli, new york yankees, Tampa Bay ray, texas, texas rangers, the ballpark in arlington. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.