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Zero's to Heros

Zero's to Heros

Zero's to Heros

The least likely athlete to go from "zero to hero" was Josh Hamilton. From the time Hamilton became Tampa Bay's number one draft pick in 1999, and paid him a signing bonus of $3.99 million the big left-hand slugger took the money and ran looking for the nearest drug dealer. It was the beginning of an extraordinary odyssey that took him from the depths of drug addiction , estrangement from his family, suspension from baseball to a spectacular rebirth of his life, faith, marriage and major league career.

In and out of rehab, plus many attempts to resurrect his career, it wasn't until 2007 that he finally shook the monkey off his back and made it back to baseball with the Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers. Hamilton's been the engine that drives the Texas Rangers. Hamilton's been the main reason Texas has been winning these last several seasons. He's baseball's leading home run hitter this season with 40, and also leads in RBI's with 119. Hamilton's story is tailor made for Hollywood. By all accounts Josh Hamilton should not be a major league star today. He should be "dead." Everyone who knew him predicted he would self-destruct, he'd be found dead someday in some back-alley gutter. Even today he has a 24/7 babysitter. We need to pray he stays on the straight road and grows old with his kids and wife.

Other star athletes have risen from zero to hero. Take former St.Louis star Albert Pujols. One of the games greatest sluggers, Pujols was a 13th-round draft choice. Do you think Pujol took a moment to laugh at the plethora of teams who passed over him in the 1999 draft, when during this off season he signed a ten-year, $254 million dollar deal with the Angels?

Footballs had their share of zero to hero players. Quarterback for the New England Patriots Tom Brady's one. Brady was a sixth-round pick and nobody knew his name. Model first, quarterback second, Brady possess the obnoxious, yet perfect combination of determination and focus. Brady's a 7 time Pro Bowl star - 2 time Super Bowl MVP - played in 3 Super Bowls and has a collection of awards far too many to list in this story.

Mardy Gilyard with the Philadelphia Eagles went from being homeless and deep in debt to NFL receiver. Kicked out of Cincinnati for his lacking academics, he was forced to work four jobs to pay off a debt he owed to the school. When he signed with the St.Louis Rams in 2010 he received a contract for $2 million plus.

James H.Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steeler's went undrafted. Rejected by every NFL team seven times around in the 2002 Draft, Harrison can now look back on five Pro Bowls - two Lombardi Trophies - a Defensive Player of the Year Award, as well as plenty of unnecessary exclamations about the league and his own quarterback. Every one in the NFL and football sure knows his name now. Retired quarterback Kurt Warner went from stocking shelves at a local grocery store for $5.50 per hour to becoming a star in the NFL. Warner was out of the University of Northern Iowa. In the Draft of 1994 "not one NFL team" had an interest in him. Warner had a roller-coaster ride to success. "ZEROES to HEROES" - No guts - no glory - these athletes showed they had guts, and they sure as heck still get the glory.........

By Larry Upton
Tuesday, 11 Sep 2012

 

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