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  • Tony Dillard

The Day Josh Hamilton Made My Son's Dream Come True

Updated: Feb 19

As a dad, there are countless stories I could share about my son, but one stands out for its sheer warmth and the unforgettable experience it brought to us. My son, a fervent admirer of baseball since his youngest days, found no greater joy than in the sport itself, except, perhaps, for collecting autographs from his heroes on the Texas Rangers, as well as their opponents. This particular story unfolds in 2008, a year that remains etched in our hearts for a reason most extraordinary.


Our routine involved attending Texas Rangers games, thanks to season tickets that allowed us the privilege of entering the stadium two hours before the general ticket holders. This early access was a golden opportunity for autograph hunters, a group my son was proudly a part of. On a day marked by the dual occasions of a Rangers game and a birthday party, we embarked on a mission: a quick trip to the stadium solely for autographs, as the birthday party's schedule clashed with the game's.


After dropping my son off at the front gate, I found a shade tree to park under, settling in for the wait. With only an hour to spare before we needed to depart for the birthday celebration, expectations were tempered, yet hope was high. Approximately 45 minutes later, my phone rang with my son's excitement vibrating through the line. "Josh Hamilton said he'll give me his batting glove after the game!" he exclaimed. The promise seemed too good to be true, especially since our tight schedule wouldn't allow us to stay post-game. The disappointment in my son's voice was palpable as I gently reminded him of our commitment to the birthday party, albeit with a heavy heart.


an autographed MLB batting glove
Josh Hamilton's Autographed Batting Glove

The phone call that followed immediately after was nothing short of a miracle. Expecting my son's voice (caller ID), I was greeted instead by a voice that sent a jolt of disbelief through me. "Hi there, this is Josh Hamilton. I really did promise to give your son my batting glove." The sincerity and kindness in his words were unmistakable, and I found myself responding with gratitude that barely encapsulated the enormity of the gesture. "Josh, you're a good man. Thanks for this call; you've made my day and my son's. We will never forget it."


True to his word, when I picked my son up, he was sporting a smile that could outshine the Texas sun, proudly brandishing the autographed batting glove promised by Hamilton. The joy of that day transcended time, becoming a cherished memory we would revisit often.


Fast forward about ten years, my son encountered Josh Hamilton once more, this time at an Ace Hardware store in Keller, TX. The encounter, albeit brief, was a testament to the lasting impact of kind gestures. Despite not mentioning the batting glove story from years past, the moment was significant in its own right, a full-circle experience linking past and present.

retired MLB baseball player and a long time fan
Josh Hamilton & My Son

This story, more than just an account of meeting a baseball idol, underscores the profound connections that sports can foster between players and fans. It's a reminder of the kindness that exists in the world, and of the lasting impact such moments can have on us. For my son and me, it wasn't just about the game of baseball; it was about the memories created around it, the kindness of a player who went out of his way to make a young fan's dream come true, and the indelible mark such gestures leave on our hearts.

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