Tigers

Jeff Riger: Josh Hamilton Taking Some Time For The Fans

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DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 11: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers hits an RBI single in the first inning to score Ian Kinsler #5 in Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 11: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers hits an RBI single in the first inning to score Ian Kinsler #5 in Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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As the Texas Rangers were taking batting practice at Comerica Park on Tuesday evening getting ready for game 3 of the ALCS, something stuck out to me as being very cool. Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton, after taking his cuts, grabbed his glove, but instead of heading for the field to shag balls, he headed for the stands to accommodate fans.

There happened to be a couple of Rangers faithful leaning on the wall down the first base line who were yelling at Hamilton to sign their shirts. I thought to myself, “These fans are wasting their time.” Hamilton was preparing for a huge game and the last thing he wants to do is sign his John Hancock.

Ohh how wrong I was, not only did the former MVP give out autographs to the Texas fans, but then he stood there for about 15 minutes signing everything. From hats to shirts to balls and pictures, Josh Hamilton did it all. He even posed for pictures. He was signing for Rangers and Tiger fans!

I thought to myself, “how cool!” Here is a professional athlete who could very easily be out of touch and blow everybody off with a great excuse, but instead he stood there and made sure everybody got what they wanted. Hamilton even signed for the fans who were no doubt going to sell what they brought to the field.

So after the outfielder was done, he grabbed his glove off the dirt and went to take his spot in the field. However, he gave us what we wanted, too, an interview.

Of course, I want the Tigers to move on to the World Series by beating the Rangers, but I now wish Josh Hamilton nothing but the best. Even though I didn’t get his autograph, I came away with something just as good, a true appreciation for the perennial All Star.

Watch the video below as Hamilton explains why he feels it’s so important to autograph for fans.

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