Josh Hamilton talks about addiction and recovery

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on November 7, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 7 at 10:16 PM

DALLAS — The Texas Rangers in the World Series was "Beyond Belief." But those words mean something else to team MVP Josh Hamilton.

On Sunday morning, the Rangers' superstar shared his story of failure and forgiveness at First Baptist Church Dallas.

Even without swinging a bat, Hamilton packed the "upper deck" of the sanctuary with Texas fans.

"That's what I enjoyed most about the entire year — not the awards, or going to the playoffs or winning — I mean going to the World Series. Next year, win the World Series," he said to cheers from the pews.

Known for runs and hits, Hamilton spent Sunday morning opening up about his errors — his struggles with drugs and alcohol.

He talked about how a confrontation with his grandmother and forgiveness from his wife took him from the dugout to center field for the Texas Rangers.

"And at that moment, I got on my knees and I said, 'Lord, my way is not working ... I need Your help. I totally submit my life to You. Use it as you will."

Hamilton also turned to his faith after a publicized relapse. He blamed the off-season night of drinking on a selfish change in priorities.

"For three weeks, I stopped reading my Bible, stopped doing my devotion, and I stopped praying," he said. "I stopped meeting with my accountability partner."

The ALCS MVP says sharing his faith was the highlight of his season.

He wants another shot in another World Series with the Rangers, but his struggles have taught him patience and appreciation.

"Me, as a man, I want in my way, right now, how I want it. And that's just the way I am built," Hamilton said. "But it's God's time, it's God's way, and it's just a constant learning process."

Josh Hamilton's faith story is told in his book "Beyond Belief." Visitors to First Baptist Dallas took home a copy on Sunday morning.

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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