Josh Hamilton of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim has been named the recipient of this year’s Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, sponsored by the Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity, headquartered in Oxford, Ohio. The award is presented annually by Phi Delta Theta to a Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the giving character of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig, a member of the Fraternity’s Columbia University chapter. The award was first presented in 1955 and is permanently maintained at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. A team of representatives from Phi Delta Theta will present the award to Hamilton on Thursday, August 28th when the Angels take on the Oakland Athletics at 7:05 PM. These representatives include a member of the True Blue Society and an Iron Phi. A True Blue Phi will be selected from Southern California. Click here to become a True Blue member.
Off the field, Hamilton’s story of triumph over drug addiction and his active role as a citizen in every community that he has been a part of is well documented. After overcoming addiction issues, Hamilton has used his story, faith, and fame to support others. After becoming the first overall selection in the 1999 June amateur draft, Hamilton emerged at the MLB level with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. During a pre-game meeting at Great American Ball Park in 2007, Josh shared his experiences with residents of Talbert House and with members of the Coalition for a Drug Free Greater Cincinnati. After the 2007 campaign, he was nominated for the Hutch Award, given annually to a major league player who exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire of the late Reds Manager Fred Hutchinson. Josh was also nominated in 2007 and 2008 for the Tony Conigliaro Award, given to the player who best overcomes adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage. Josh established his Foundation, Triple Play Ministries, where he and his wife have worked to provide sports ministry, community outreach, and mission projects in a variety of endeavors. Triple Play has directed funds to Arise Africa in Uganda to build an orphanage for homeless children, donated funds to relief efforts in Haiti following the earthquake, and has distributed turkeys and fixings for Thanksgiving dinners to families in need.
On the field, Hamilton made his debut with the Cincinnati Reds and then played for the Texas Rangers from 2008–2012 before joining the Angels. He is a five-time MLB All-Star, three-time slugger award winner and won the AL MVP and AL Championship Series MVP in 2010.
During the 2008 season, Hamilton was named to the AL All-Star team and was named a Silver Slugger (OF) award winner. He also participated in the Home Run Derby, where he hit a record 28 home runs in the opening round and finished with 35 home runs, second-most all-time in derby history. In May 2012, Hamilton became the 16th player in MLB history to hit four home runs in a game. All four of the home runs were two-run home runs, and he set an AL record for total bases in a game with 18.
Hamilton joined the Angels in 2013 and has a lifetime .295 average with 658 RBI and 185 home runs.
Hamilton is the first member of the franchise to win the Gehrig Award as an Angel. Current Angels First Baseman Albert Pujols received the award in 2009 when he was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. For detailed information about the history of the award visit www.LouGehrigAward.org. If you’d like to purchase a ticket to participate in a pre-game dinner and program and/or a ticket to the game click here.