Texas Ranger All-Star Josh Hamilton’s failures are as well-known as his successes. Through it all – an incredible story of redemption from drug addiction – there has been a woman by his side, wife Katie. DallasChild caught up with the devoted mother of four girls (Julia, 10; Sierra, 6; Michaela, 3; Stella, 9 weeks) to talk family, faith and a little baseball.
What a year for the Hamilton family! You welcomed baby girl number 4 in September, and the Rangers went to the World Series again.
I thought for sure we’d win game 7, and then when we didn’t, I actually shed a few tears – which surprised me, because I haven’t had that reaction to any baseball game before. I think it was the fact that we’d been there twice and it didn’t happen, but very quickly God reminded me how blessed we are.
This baseball season was especially long for you this year – almost 8 months.
I’m pretty used to it now. I really love baseball season. I never miss a game if I can help it. I really enjoy watching the games and praying for my husband during his every single at-bat. After everything we’ve gone through, I’m grateful he’s still able to play the game, and I never want to take it for granted.
Do you and the girls hit the road with the team?
I usually do two road trips with just me and Josh together, and then I’ll take the girls on at least two to three trips to be with their dad. We’re going to try something new next season. Josh is going to take the two oldest girls individually on trips by themselves without me. He talked with the Ranger staffs, and they suggested he try it.
Josh is one of the most beloved Rangers. How do you handle the celebrity factor?
Well. [Pauses.] I don’t really know. That word is so strange to me. It’s not something that is ever normal to you, but you try to get used to it.
What do the girls think?
They are extremely patient, and my husband is too. He’s so gracious. It blows my mind, because even at times when I know he’s exhausted, he always makes people feel welcome. I’m more protective of my kids, of Josh and of his time, but he overrules me.
You guys celebrated seven years of marriage in November.
We always say we’ve been married seven years, but it’s been six glorious years. It was a little rough at the beginning, but we still get credit for it. We still love each other tremendously.
When you met Josh he wasn't playing baseball. During his relapse with drug addiction, you believed he would play again some day. Have things turned out like you expected?
Oh, totally not how I expected! Josh and I went to high school together. After we got married he had just relapsed, and I really felt the Lord laying on my heart that Josh was going to get back into baseball and it wasn’t going to be about baseball, but what God had done in Josh’s life. I told him that, and he looked at me like I was crazy. It was so real to me – even when things got really bad, I didn’t forget it. It’s just amazing what God can do when you give your life to him. It doesn’t matter how shattered the pieces are, if you give God the pieces he’ll put it back together more beautifully than you can ever dream.
It’s more than baseball in the Hamilton home. Talk about how important your Christian faith is to you and your family.
Our faith by far is number one. Josh actually got sober by memorizing Scripture. He had been in and out of rehab eight different times and nothing helped, but on the night he surrendered his life to Christ he opened the Bible and memorized James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” And every time he had a thought about a drug he would quote that Scripture. He would always say you can’t think two thoughts at the same time, so if he meditated on Scripture the thoughts of drugs would disappear, and they did.
How will you talk about Josh's past struggles with your kids?
Our oldest child pretty much knows his story. She knows he was on drugs, that he had an addiction and that he gave his life to Christ and he was delivered from that. It’s a hard reality. If we’re going to tell other people our story, I feel at some point your kids have to know.
What’s the best thing about being married to a professional baseball player?
For me, the professional baseball player is my husband, it’s Josh. I’m married to my best friend. The fact that he plays baseball is just his job; I’d love him no matter what he did. This is a hard question, but I will tell you that I really enjoy reading people’s letters of how Josh’s story has helped, encouraged or inspired them in some way.
Josh is really outnumbered with all the girls. What kind of dad is he?
[Laughs.] He’s totally outnumbered, oh my goodness. He’s incredible, he really is. I love watching him with our daughters. He’s a big guy, he’s got all those tattoos, and you may not think he’d be gentle with them, but he is.
The girls are active in sports. Are you and Josh involved with their teams?
Oh, we don’t coach. I would be the world’s worst coach, because I am so un-athletic. Josh goes to games when he’s able. I’m the craziest woman in the stands; if Julia gets her serves over, I get so excited.
What do you look forward to doing in the off-season with Josh and the girls?
Just being together. We can do a whole bunch of stuff or we can do nothing, and I’m equally excited to just have us all together as a family. We’ll take the girls on a few hunting trips and to go see our families back in North Carolina, but I’m totally content to sit at home, build a fire and just do nothing but be together.
Do your daughters get into games?
Yeah, they’re totally into. In fact during the summer when I was so pregnant and so uncomfortable, not wanting to move because it was 2,000 degrees outside, they looked at me and were like, we have to go to the game!
How did you survive the hot Texas summer being eight months pregnant?
Oh my goodness, oh wow. I’m like the most cold-natured person ever, and Josh is very hot-natured and I was never able to empathize with him. Well, he and I are on the same page now. I have never been so hot in my whole life. It was disgusting. I would get in the tub like six times a day. If I’m cold now, I get a jacket; he can have the AC on.