A Holocaust survivor once wrote that one of the things that got him through the hopeless, horrifying ordeal was to imagine himself years later in a warm room lecturing about his experiences to a rapt and appreciative audience.
Josh Hamilton had a similar dream a few years ago in his drug-induced darkest days -- that he would someday be the center of attention in Yankee Stadium.
Monday night it came true, as the addict-turned-superstar mesmerized the baseball world with an unparalleled show of power in the annual pre-All-Star-game home run derby: 28 home runs in the first round alone, eclipsing the former record of 24. At one point, he had 13 home runs on 13 swings.
What an incredible shining moment for the young Texas Ranger who had natural talent and Hall of Fame promise when he was drafted in 1999 by Tampa Bay but who nearly killed himself with drugs.
Today, his chills come from excitement and achievement, not from withdrawal. And he says baseball is merely the delivery vehicle for his message of responsibility and redemption.
"The Josh Hamilton story is so compelling, so powerful, it restores all faith in the ability of people to turn their lives around," wrote the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo.
Makes you realize that it wasn't Hamilton's power on display Monday night so much as God's.