It's Josh, by gosh

Josh Hamilton led the Texas Rangers to their first AL West crown since 1999, topping the AL with a...

Josh Hamilton led the Texas Rangers to their first AL West crown since 1999, topping the AL with a .359 average and a .633 slugging percentage. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

TORONTO - Josh Hamilton has talked often about "the journey" that he has been on as he put his life and career back together after falling into the abyss of drug and alcohol abuse.

Tuesday, he stopped to celebrate, briefly, his 2010 American League MVP award.

"I do reflect," the Texas Rangers centre fielder told reporters in a conference call.

"If I didn't reflect, a little ego might start sneaking in there. I think about where I was at my lowest and I think about the people who helped me through it. I've been growing and it's just awesome to think about this moment and where I was.

"I would say there was a 99% chance that this would never happen. It was a 100% chance never to happen if I tried to do it on my own. With God, all things are possible."

Hamilton was No. 1 on 22 of 28 ballots to beat Detroit's Miguel Cabrera by a comfortable margin. New York Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano was third and Toronto slugger Jose Bautista was fourth.

Hamilton, who batted .359 with a .633 slugging percentage and a 1.044 OPS, won the award despite missing the last month of the season with broken ribs.

Both the Rangers and Hamilton got off to a slow start but when Hamilton caught fire in June, so did the team. With Hamilton hitting .454 that month, with 31 RBIs and a 1.297 OPS, Texas went 21-6 to take the lead in the AL West. They were never caught the rest of the season, winning the AL Division series over Tampa, then beating the Yankees for the pennant. They lost in five games to the Giants in the World Series.

"There's always disappointment if you don't win when you get your chance but we made a lot of history in Texas this season," Hamilton said. "Looking back at the year, we would have liked to win the thing. Now we can use it for fuel in the off-season."

There are a lot of ways to define MVP but Hamilton likes to think of it as someone with a consistent approach, always contributing.

"Hopefully, Most Valuable Player is somebody who excels at their position, with the bat, but has done things each night, whatever that might be, that helps his team win," he said.

"I think I did that the majority of the season. I helped us get somewhere we've never been before. I have to give thanks to all my teammates for helping me as much as I helped them."


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