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Hamilton Wins AL MVP

Slugger's offense led team to World Series



    Hamilton Wins AL MVP
    Getty Images
    Josh Hamilton at the plate.

    On Tuesday, the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced Hamilton won the award by a large margin with 22 votes for him in first place, making the final vote 358 points.

    Hamilton thought back to the days when his career was derailed by drugs and alcohol. "I would say a 99 percent chance that this would never happen," he said. "I mean, honestly, I think a lot of people would agree with that."

    Hamilton overcame eight trips to rehabilitation for addiction. After going on the disabled list in 2001 while in the minors, he became addicted to alcohol and cocaine. He didn't play from 2003-05.

    "I do reflect. If I didn't reflect, 'I' might start sneaking in there, a little ego might start sneaking in there, and that's one thing I don't want to happen," Hamilton said. "So I do reflect and I think about where I was at my lowest time."

    Hamilton Opens Up About Troubled Past

    [DFW] Hamilton Opens Up About Troubled Past
    Just days after returning from his World Series run, Josh Hamilton was back in front of a crowd on Sunday.
    (Published Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010)

    Teammate say his story motivates them.

    "It's awesome, everybody makes mistakes in their lives and everybody deserves a second chance," Rangers teammate David Murphy said before voting was announced. "A lot of people don't take advantage of that second chance. But he took it and he ran with it."

    Hamilton beat out Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano.

    Hamilton had a huge season leading the majors with a .359 batting average. He also ranked first in slugging percentage.

    "There were other guys around the league who had great years, but seeing Josh, what he was able to do, it's pretty impressive," teammate Michael Young said. "You don't see guys go three-month stretches where they hit .400, it's just too difficult to do."

    He finished the season ranked second in the American League for on-base percentage and was tied for fifth with 32 home runs.

    Despite missing most of the final month of the season with a cracked rib, Hamilton was the first American League player with at least a .359 average, 40 doubles, 30 home runs, and 100 RBI since Lou Gehrig in 1934.

    The Rangers slugger helped the team win its first American League West crown in more than a decade. The Rangers went on to take their first A.L. pennant, leading to a World Series berth.

    Hamilton is not the first Rangers player to win the award. Other Rangers to win MVP are: Jeff Burroughs (1974), Juan Gonzalez --who won it twice -- (1996, 1998), Pudge Rodriguez (1999) and Alex Rodriguez (2003).

    Hamilton receives a $100,000 bonus.

    AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum and Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.