Josh Hamilton: .359 BA, .633 SLG, 32 HR, 100 RBI
Joey Votto: .324 BA, .600 SLG, 37 HR, 113 RBI
CONGRATULATIONS to Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton and Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto on winning the AL & NL MVP Awards. Both Hamilton and Votto were relatively runaway winners and deservedly so. Hamilton got 22 of 28 first-place votes and Votto got 31 of 32 first-place votes, so clearly, there was no debating their selection.
And the beauty of these two winners is that both Hamilton and Votto's triumphs go way beyond baseball. Both stories are truly inspiring.
Hamilton overcame years of drug and alcohol addiction to put together one of the most mammoth comebacks in the history of sports. A few years ago, after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Tampa Bay Rays, his career came crashing down and was out of baseball and into the dark life of alcohol and cocaine addiction. But thru family intervention and strong religious beliefs, Hamilton overcame his disease and worked his way back to the majors. Today he is one of the most feared hitters in the game.
Votto, himself, overcame adversity although not as steep as Hamilton's situation. But nonetheless, it was a torturous time for him. After the death of his father in 2009, Votto was devastated and began suffering from panic attacks and anxiety. He simply just didn't know how to handle the tragedy and became extremely disoriented. At different points during the season he had to be placed on the disable list because of the overwhelming stress. Like Hamilton, he overcame his adversity and became one of the most feared hitters in the game.
Kudos to them both.
They are living proof that even though sometimes we are dealt a bad hand we have to maintain a positive attitude, strive to be the best we can be and soldier on.
As Hamilton said, “I do reflect. If I didn’t reflect, ‘I’ might start sneaking in there, a little ego might start sneaking in there, and that’s one thing I don’t want to happen. So I do reflect and I think about where I was at my lowest time.”
You are no longer there, my friend. Your story is a story for the ages.