Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton (Guest Reviewed by Audra Jennings)


Growing up, my family loved baseball. My dad coached baseball before he was married or had kids. My brother played. I was the scorekeeper sitting in the dugouts throughout high school and junior college. I'm a Texas girl, so that also means going to Rangers games, and watching them on TV.

Being a Rangers fan is not easy, folks. For those of you not from Texas and don't realize it (that it's hard to be a Rangers fan--not that you're not from Texas!), I have to say that it can sometimes be downright painful. However, the 2008 season had one bright spot that kept things interesting.

It became fun to watch and see what one certain player would do.

That player was Josh Hamilton.

When I saw that this book was going around to the blogs to be reviewed, I emailed Deena for a chance to read the book. Like many baseball fans, I had heard Josh's story about his comeback from drug addiction to make it to Major League baseball. Just hearing parts of the story as told to the media was mere snippets; nothing compared to reading the entire tale.

Growing up, baseball was life for Josh's close knit family. Eat, sleep, and breathe baseball. From the time Josh was old enough to throw a ball or swing a bat, his talent was far beyond what anyone had ever witnessed for someone his age.

Early on, everyone knew that Josh was "destined" for baseball greatness. That plan was right on track through his youth, and after high school he was the first pick of the first round of the 1999 baseball draft. With a signing bonus of $3.96 million from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, he was in the spotlight and well on his way.

After a couple of years in the minor leagues, Josh's career was thrown off track. Due to an injury, Josh found himself unable to consistently play the game he loved. At the same time, he was separated from his parents for the first time.

With free time and new found freedom, Josh started finding some new interests to occupy himself. At first, it was an obsession with tattoos. After time spent in the tattoo parlors, Josh found a taste for alcohol...and later drugs.

What followed was a four year addiction that nearly cost Josh his opportunity to play the game he loved--but also his family, his marriage, his children--and he barely escaped with his own life.

God intervened and gave Josh a turning point in the form of his Christian grandmother. To find out the role she played and how the story ends--you'll just have to read the book (or find Audra's review somewhere else--I don't give away endings here!).

The Bottom Line: This book is a great story on how, through God, all things are possible. Baseball fans will love it. Even if you just like to read about people's personal stories, this is a book you will certainly enjoy.

Thanks, Audra! Loved your review:-) And love you, too!

Happy Reading!



MizB said...

Hi, Deena! You've been nominated for a Kreativ Blogger Award here (on my blog). :)

MizB said...

Deena...if I forgot to give you the link last time I commented (can't recall if I did or not), here it is again: