By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
12:32 AM EDT, May 9, 2012
Here are a couple thoughts on Josh Hamilton’s four-home run night against the Orioles – only the 16th in major league baseball history, the first at Camden Yards and only the second in Baltimore. The other was at Memorial Stadium on June 10, 1959, when Rocky Colavito of the Cleveland Indians did it.
After Hamilton reached the milestone – a blast to center on a 0-2 pitch from Darren O’Day – the Orioles fans reacted appropriately.
I know he is on the opposing team, but it was fantastic to see the fans – there were only 11,263 of you, so I don’t want to see 20,000 stories next year about how all of you were there – jump to their feet and applaud this guy.
And when Hamilton went out to the outfield after the eighth, he received another ovation – that apparently was especially cool for the Raleigh, N.C., native, who says he gets “worn out” by heckling Orioles fans, presumably about his well-publicized battle against addictions.
Here’s what he had to say:
“Obviously, we are like four and a half hours from home, from where I grew up. So there’s folks here that drive up every time I am in Baltimore to see me play. As the game went on, I found I was getting worn out less and less in the outfield [by fans]. I get worn out here in Baltimore. When I came out after the fourth one, the crowd and [their] appreciation lets you know that they are true baseball fans. They are not only fans of their own team, but they love the game and appreciate it when somebody does something of that caliber. And it’s a special feeling, you’re running out in the opposing stadium and the crowd is just appreciating how you play the game and what you’ve done.”
Here’s some other reaction:
From Hamilton: “It’s, other than being in the World Series, the highlight of my big league career. I was saying after I hit two, 'I’ve never hit three in a game before,' and what a blessing that was, and then to hit four is just an awesome feeling to see how excited my teammates got. It reminds you of when you’re in Little League and a little kid, and just the excitement and why we play the game. Things like that. You never know what can happen, and it was just an absolute blessing.”
From catcher Matt Wieters: “It’s tough to hit four home runs in BP, and he did it in a game.”
And from Buck Showalter: "I'd rather see it from a different dugout. But no. … He's been doing that to a lot of teams in baseball. Not to that extent. He's a good player, a really good player. He does a lot of things. He's one of the best players in the game. You can see why."
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