Book Review – “Beyond Belief” by Josh Hamilton

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

As he grew older, he maintained the strong morals his parents instilled in him when he was still a child. He was taught that family is the most important thing in life and he found joy in staying home on nights when his friends were out risking trouble. He entered high school and immediately began to realize that he had Major League potential and set out to make it to the Major Leagues. His dreams came true when he graduated from high school and was signed as the number one overall draft pick in the Major Leagues, accepting an offer and a signing bonus of more than four million dollars.

Hamilton’s transition to stardom and becoming a man was an awkward one. His parents followed him through the minor leagues to make sure he got in trouble and some of his teammates and coaches found this strange. He was protected his whole life from him, and now at his job, they were still protecting him.

When his parents finally released him, Hamilton began to exhibit questionable behavior. He got more than a dozen tattoos in a short period of time and began experimenting with drugs with the men who gave him the tattoos. Hamilton fell down a slippery slope and began using more and more drugs. Part of that was the feeling of the drugs, but the drugs also took his mind off the back pains he was experiencing from a car accident.

Josh Hamilton eventually started hanging out with the wrong crowds. He began to get paranoid about buying drugs and spending huge sums of money to get access to hard drugs. He passed out in random trailers and passed out on many occasions due to the large amounts of drugs he used, but he 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 turning his life around. She constantly told him that she would play baseball again one day with a reassuring confidence. She fed her all the food she could handle and gave her a place to sleep. Josh gained weight rapidly and began to think that returning to baseball was a good possibility; but he had no idea who would want to give a spent drug addict another chance.

Hamilton found his answer in a religious baseball group that forced him to do cleaning duties during the day to win practice on the field and in the batting cage at night. He realized that he still had an amazing swing and with weight training he was back in top form in no time.

Josh knew the right people in the right places at the right time and was called up by the Cincinnati Red major league organization. He made an immediate impact, but was eventually traded to the Texas Rangers. While in the Rangers organization, he started every game and made the All-Star team. He showed that he had his swing the whole time; 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 realize it, but it’s easy to get lost in the world without family and without the assurance that someone is there for you. Fortunately for Josh Hamilton, his parents and his wife were with him throughout his addiction and recovery process. His wife has proven to be a remarkable woman and his grandmother showed a strength that no one else could. This autobiography is an excellent read whether you like baseball or not. Hamilton’s story is an incredible success story that makes you appreciate family and live a healthy life. This book has an easy rating of 5 out of 5.

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