Hamilton an inspiration in so many ways
July, 15, 2008
NEW YORK -- One of the best things about baseball is that someone else comes along and recreates being the hero. Out of the embers of the Black Sox scandal came Babe Ruth. As a nation regrouped between World War II and the Korean War, Jackie Robinson bravely changed the face of sports and American society. After the strike that canceled the 1994 World Series and led to the coldest winter, along came Cal Ripken, the dignity and might of the Joe Torre/Derek Jeter/Mariano Rivera Yankees, and then the summer of '98 with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. And when that entire era went to black and the waste depository of the BALCO and aging clinics, Jose Canseco and gopher slimeballs reached the desk of George Mitchell and millions wondered if they could ever trust the sport again. There were 55,000 people at Yankee Stadium on Monday night -- most of whom knew less about Josh Hamilton than Darrell Rasner -- chanting Hamilton's name and rooting for a new hero. Every revelation about Roger Clemens' past and every "collusion" noise that comes out of some parrot's beak has emphasized the need to move forward. That is why no team has signed Barry Bonds, who can still impact any lineup -- owners and general managers understandably don't want to talk about the past. They want to try to move on into an era with drug testing, in whatever form the morphed sport takes.