While I watched a Ranger receive a standing ovation at Yankee Stadium for breaking a Yankee’s record (ahem, Abreu, 24), I thought about the creation of myth, and how Hamilton’s redemption song feeds the folklore that surrounds him. It gives the Hamilton story extra meaning, extra poignance, that he comfortably inhabits the penthouse of the baseball world because we know he once cleaned the toilets. Shucks, he probably still does.
While I pondered getting flames tattooed on my forearms, I considered the power of despair in building legend. Were Josh Hamilton’s 28 home runs more impressive than, say, 28 home runs hit by Lance Berkman? Does Josh Hamilton represent whatever meager potential we’ve yet to tap? Does Fat Elvis?
Josh Hamilton’s script is so hackneyed even the least jaundiced producer would reject.
But what I saw on the espens was a genuine, Malamudian Natural. Josh Hamilton set the Bronx ablaze last night; he was “Now.”
That wasn’t just a baseball player getting a standing-o at Yankee Stadium last night.
That was a crackhead become legend
(maybe there’s hope for us yet).