Book Review – "Beyond Belief" by Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton is a true success story. He has had it all, hit rock bottom, and now he is truly back at the top of the mountain. As a boy, he became interested in baseball at a very early age, and was so good at the game that he was placed in much older leagues before he was even ten years old. He had such a strong arm and powerful swing that he was thought to be a danger to the boys his own age that he played little league baseball with.

As he became older, he carried on the strong morals that his parents instilled in him while still a young boy. He was taught that family is the most important thing in life and found joy in staying home on nights when his friends were out risking trouble. He entered high school and began to realize immediately that he had major league potential and made it his goal to reach the big leagues. His dreams came true when he graduated high school and was signed number one in the major league draft, accepting an offer and signing bonus of over four million dollars.

Hamilton’s transition to stardom and becoming a man was awkward. His parents followed him through the minor leagues to make sure he did get into trouble and some of his teammates and coaches found this strange. He was sheltered all of his life, and now at his job, they were still sheltering him.

When his parents finally gave him freedom, Hamilton began to exhibit questionable behavior. He got over a dozen tattoos within a short period of time and started to experiment with drugs with the men who gave him his tattoos. Hamilton hit a slippery slope and began doing more and more drugs. Part of it was the feeling of the drugs, but the drugs also took his mind of back pains he was experiencing from a car accident.

Josh Hamilton eventually started hanging out with the wrong crowds. He started becoming paranoid about buying drugs and spending enormous sums of money to gain access to hard drugs. He passed out in random trailers and blacked out on many occasions due to the large amounts of drugs he was consuming, but always had the love of family and the natural talent in baseball to bring him back into the light.

He eventually went to his grandmother’s house in the middle of the night, and she was responsible for changing his life. She constantly told him that he would be playing baseball again one day with a reassuring confidence. She fed him all the food he could handle and gave him a place to sleep. Josh gained weight rapidly and began thinking that a comeback to baseball was a good possibility; but he had no idea who would want to give a worn-out drug-addict another chance.

Hamilton found his answer in a religious baseball group that forced him to perform janitorial chores during the day in order to gain field and batting cage practice in the evenings. He noticed that he still had an amazing swing and with weight training he was back into top shape in no time.

Josh knew the right people in the right places at the right time, and was called upon by the Cincinnati Red’s major league organization. He made an impact right away, but was eventually traded to the Texas Rangers. While in the Ranger’s organization, he began to start every game and made the All-Star Team. He proved that he had his swing all along; he just needed a push in the right direction to realize his true potential.

One thing to take away from Beyond Belief is that family is the most important thing a person will ever have. Sometimes you may not notice it, but it is easy to be lost in the world without family and the assurance that someone is there for you. Luckily for Josh Hamilton, his parents and wife stuck with him throughout his entire addiction and recovery process. His wife has proven to be a remarkable woman and his grandmother showed strength that no one else could. This autobiography is an excellent read if you like baseball or not. Hamilton’s story is an amazing success story that makes you appreciate family and living a healthy life. This book is rated an easy 5 out of 5.


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