Ex-MLB slugger Josh Hamilton reveals conversation with God led him to retirement

Former MLB slugger Josh Hamilton played nine years in the big leagues, winning one MVP award and getting selected to five All-Star games while also battling drug and alcohol addiction.

Hamilton last played a major league game in 2015 and retired two years later after the Texas Rangers released him following a right knee injury.


Hamilton appeared Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan in Texas ahead of his Aug. 17 enshrinement into the Rangers’ Hall of Fame and revealed the moment he knew his career in baseball was over, according to the Dallas Morning-News.

He told the station he was at his ranch cutting firewood when he had a conversation with God.

“I m out there cutting firewood in the wintertime, got an old ax just cutting wood. And I take a chop and bust a log up, and immediately as soon as I cut through it, God was like, 'You know you can be done?'” Hamilton said, adding that God told him he was afraid of being finished with baseball.

Josh Hamilton retired from baseball in 2017.

Josh Hamilton retired from baseball in 2017. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

Hamilton said he asked God what he was afraid of.

“I mean, I'm having this conversation talking out loud and He says, ‘Well, baseball is the only thing you've ever known since you were 3.’ Well, I haven't played in two years. ... And he said, 'Yes, but mentally, emotionally, physically, you've been preparing to get back to play. I got something more for you after baseball.’”

Hamilton added: “And I'm like, OK. So, I called my agent and said you know what, I'm done... He said, 'OK, you want to do a big press conference or anything?’ I said, ‘Nah.’”


The 38-year-old was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 1999 but never saw the field with them. He then played for the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Angels along with the Rangers.

He hit 200 career home runs, batted .290 and recorded a .865 OPS. He won the American League MVP award in 2010, clobbering 32 home runs, hitting .359 and recording a 1.044 OPS.