Former Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton pleads guilty in assault case

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers looks on during the game against the Minnesota Twins on August 12, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rangers 11-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers looks on during the game against the Minnesota Twins on August 12, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rangers 11-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Former Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton pleaded guilty on Tuesday to unlawful restraint in a 2019 assault case against his daughter.

According to the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office Facebook page, the 40-year old Josh Hamilton pleaded guilty to unlawful restraint that arose from a September 2020 assault case against his daughter.

Former Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton is in trouble with the law

The District Attorney’s Office defines unlawful restraint as “intentionally or knowingly restraining another person.”

Judge Mike Thomas heard the plea agreement for Hamilton, which states he will serve one year or deferred adjudication, or probation, pay $500 to the Tarrant County Court, as well as attend anger management and parenting classes. On top of that, Hamilton will also be required to serve 20 hours of community service, consume no alcohol, and be subjected to random drug testing.

Of note, Hamilton will not be allowed any communication with his 14-year old daughter over the next year.

If you are unfamiliar with the situation, in 2019, Josh Hamilton’s daughter told North Texas authorities that her father went on an anger-driven rampage. According to his daughter, who claims to have said something to upset the former big league All-Star, Hamilton struck her with a water bottle that hit her in the chest, cussed and shouted at her, then threw her over his shoulder and throw her on the bed.

Meanwhile, Hamilton had also thrown and broken the chair she had been sitting in and began to hit her legs with both an open hand and fist.

According to the District Attorney’s page, a brief statement was read on his daughter’s behalf that said the situation “has been a nightmare, to put it mildly.” It went on to say “my mom has taught me to forgive and how to love well, set boundaries, and pray for those who hurt us, but it isn’t always easy. I hope for all of our sakes he gets the help he needs.”

Looking back on Josh Hamilton’s injury-plagued career, the pure talent speaks for itself. In my opinion, during his five-year tenure with the Texas Rangers, he was the greatest ballplayer to set foot on the field. He was the definition of a true five-tool player.

The number one overall pick by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 1999 MLB Draft out of Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, became an instant hit. Hamilton was going to be the franchise-altering player the Devil Rays needed, paired alongside Carl Crawford and their amazing pitching staff.

However, the talented lefty was bogged down by cocaine addiction and alcohol abuse shortly after his career began.

After nearly six years away from the game, the Chicago Cubs drafted Hamilton in the minor-league portion of the 2006 Rule 5 Draft, then on the same day, Hamilton’s contract was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds.

“Hambone” would make his long-awaited MLB debut on April 2, 2007, as a young 25-year old that sported the number “33” on his back. It was a pinch-hit appearance against the Chicago Cubs. Hamilton would play 90 games for the Reds, tallying a .292 batting average, .368 OBP, and slug .554. Add to that his 19 home runs and 47 RBIs, Josh Hamilton had the makings of an incredible big league career.

Nearly a year to the day that he was selected in the Rule 5 Draft, President of Baseball Operation Jon Daniels pulled the trigger on one of the greatest steals in Texas Rangers trade history. The Rangers acquired Hamilton from the Reds for Danny Herrera and Edinson Volquez.

Let the storybook career play out over the next five seasons as Josh Hamilton would see five consecutive All-Star appearances, three Silver Sluggers, an MVP of the regular season and of the ALCS, batting title and Player of the Year. Don’t forget the 28 homers he hit in the 2008 Home Run Derby. In one round, might I add.

Hamilton led the Rangers to their first two World Series appearances, winning that MVP in 2010, and accruing a career stat line in Texas of .302/.359/.542/.901. He hit 150 homers in Arlington, drove in 531 and ranks 15th all-time in Texas Rangers WAR (23).

After a heartbreaking 2012 season, Hamilton would sign with the division rival Los Angeles Angels and would never be the same player again. He was ridiculed in L.A., called a bad teammate and had his locker given to an unknown rookie before being traded back to Texas for almost nothing in 2015.

Hamilton would only play in 50 games for the Rangers in 2015, getting injured on a walk-off double. That sadly would be last games he would play in the Major Leagues, after dealing with three surgeries in the following years.

Hamilton was elected in the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019, becoming enshrined as one of the greatest to ever play in Arlington, until days later the event that would lead to his eventual arrest occurred.

Next. Finding a Rangers trade for pitching with the Reds. dark

It’s hard to look back and see your favorite player, the guy you idolized and mimicked in the backyard go through all of this. To this day, I have my Josh Hamilton signed jersey, baseball, bobbleheads and even his book in my house (much to my wife’s dismay). Anyone who witnessed him play knows the talent he was, arguably the best player to step on the field at the time. Now, let’s hope he can get his life turned around after years of getting knocked down.