Hamilton Beats Drugs, Odds in Comeback
Rangers fielder, once banished from league, having red-hot spring
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2008 10:15 AM CDT
Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton hits a grand slam in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, May 27, 2008, in St. Petersburg, Fla.    (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
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(Newser) – Josh Hamilton can appreciate the high he's riding now, because his personal lows have been pretty rough. The first pick of baseball's 1999 draft was booted in 2004 for failing drug tests after picking up a cocaine habit. But now the Rangers outfielder has traded a bottle of Crown Royal a day for a swing at the triple crown, Sports Illustrated reports.

Staying sober takes dedication for Hamilton, who submits to a drug test every three days, and stays under the watchful eye of mentor Johnny Narron. Even after he went 5-for-5 with six RBI and two home runs this month, Hamilton passed up the chance to eat out with the team. "He knows the devil isn't far away," says his father-in-law.