BALTIMORE – If the Hall of Fame ever comes calling for the last baseball Josh Hamilton hit over the wall on Tuesday night, the Texas Rangers slugger might need some time to track it down.
Hamilton became the 16th player in major league history to hit four homers in a game during a 10-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. The last two balls were retrieved and given to him after the game. The fourth was authenticated.
Hamilton tossed the baseballs into his luggage at the team hotel, and he has no plans to showcase the record-tying ball in his house.
“It will probably end up in a closet or rolling down a slide in the backyard, the girls playing with it,” he said Wednesday without a trace of a grin.
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His 18 total bases were an American League record, and his 5-for-5 performance gave him a .406 batting average with 14 homers and 36 RBI – all tops in the AL.
Could a Triple Crown be in his future?
“I don’t think about it. I honestly don’t,” the center fielder said. “The chances of that happening are very, very, very, very, very, very slim. So why worry about something that won’t happen anyway?”
Hamilton isn’t counting on hitting four homers again anytime soon, either. After his incredible feat, he said it would take a while for the feeling to sink in, and by Wednesday he could appreciate the enormity of it
“It means a lot. It’s special to me. But I can’t live there,” he said.
Hamilton becomes a free agent after this season, and he’s not worried about his future. His thought is, if he’s meant to stay in Texas, then that is where he will end up.