Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is going to see his life story transferred into a major motion picture. The baseball star optioned the story of his life to Casey Affleck, who will write and direct a movie through his production company, Thunder Road Pictures.
Josh Hamilton was drafted in 1999 by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays baseball team. He had all the promise in the world until a car accident injured his back. Unable to cope with the pain, Hamilton turned to prescription painkillers and eventually graduated to illegal drugs, including crack cocaine. Major League Baseball suspended him numerous times and he soon found himself out of a job.
Hamilton looked like someone who was just another precautionary tale, but then something miraculous happened: The ballplayer hit rock bottom and realized there was nowhere left to go. He lost his career, his family, and the right to see his newborn daughter. Hamilton checked into rehab and went cold turkey. He made his way back to the Cincinnati Reds and eventually ended up with the Texas Rangers.
In 2010, Hamilton won the AL MVP Award and has helped lead the Rangers to their first two World Series appearances in franchise history. In the summer of 2011, Hamilton broke sobriety for one night with an alcohol relapse, but immediately apologized for the slip and is back, better than ever, in 2012. It is a story fit for the movies.
Other true life inspirational sports stories
There are a number of stories about real life athletes who struggle but find a way to reach their dreams. While most of their woes are not self-inflicted, as Hamilton's were, these tales are almost too good to be true just the same.
Dennis Quaid starred in "The Rookie," the story of Jim Morris, a former baseball star who tore his shoulder and ended his baseball career before it ever began. However, at the age of 35, he Morris fulfilled a promise to the high school team he coaches, trying out for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and actually making the team.
Mark Wahlberg starred in "Invincible," the story of Vince Papale, who earned a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles football team as a 30-year-old rookie. The movie made some changes to the real story, including adding an open tryout and ignoring the fact that Papale played semi-pro football, but his story was a still a long shot that seems almost too good to be true.
Of course, one of the most improbable sports movies of this sort was "Rudy," the story of an undersized boy who made the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team against all odds. While there are many inaccuracies in the movie, it remains one of the most inspirational sports movies ever made.
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