Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hamilton walkoff uplifting

Down to the last out, Hamilton's HR helps Rangers defeat A's

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Josh Hamilton knew he had a game-ending home run when he hit the ball.
While the crowd went crazy and his Texas Rangers teammates gathered at home plate to mob him and celebrate their sixth straight victory, 7-6 over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night, Hamilton put his head down and started trotting around the bases. His mind had to wander during what has been an emotional few days.
Hamilton's two-run homer came two nights after Brownwood firefighter Shannon Stone's accidental fatal fall at the stadium after reaching out to catch a ball tossed his way by the reigning AL MVP.
"It's been an up-and-down, roller coaster-type weekend, with everything that happened to Mr. Stone and his family. Obviously we're thinking about him and grieving about the situation," Hamilton said. "Tonight takes you from one extreme to the other pretty quick. I feel blessed I had the opportunity to do it."
Flags remained at half-staff at Rangers Ballpark and players on both teams again wore black ribbons in memory of Stone, who tumbled over a rail and fell about 20 feet to the concrete behind the left-field wall during the second inning of the series opener Thursday night, when he was at the game with his six-year-old son. Stone died less than an hour later. His funeral is Monday.
Hamilton connected on a 2-0 pitch with two outs in the ninth off A's closer Andrew Bailey (0-2), a 435-foot shot into the second deck of seats in right field. It was Hamilton's fourth hit of the game, and his 11th homer of the season.More...

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