ARLINGTON, Texas Josh Hamilton has had a sidekick during his run through the history books this week for the Texas Rangers.
The same bat Hamilton used in his record-setting four-homer game Tuesday was the same one he was using heading into Sunday’s series finale against the Los Angeles Angels.
Hamilton is using the bat despite it already having an authentication sticker on it from the Hall of Fame on the knob of the bat. Hamilton said he’s sticking with the bat as long as he can.
He’s used it for all of his homers since Tuesday’s game except for one. The homer he hit off Tommy Hunter in Game 2 of Thursday’s doubleheader was a different bat. That bat also has some history to it as Hamilton lost that one in the stands during Monday’s game in Baltimore. Hamilton also homered in that game.
Hamilton’s jersey from Tuesday’s game is bound for the Hall of Fame along with the cap he wore in that game. While the bat is stickered, it’s only going to the Hall if it doesn’t get shattered.
Shattered is a good word for what Hamilton’s done during a week in which he’s hit nine home runs in a six-game span. While the numbers are great, Hamilton said he hasn’t had time to get caught up in them.
“Honestly I don’t think about it all until I see somebody and they remind me of it or I talk to you guys about it,” said Hamilton, who came into Sunday’s game hitting .402 to go along with the 18 home runs and 41 RBI. “Dealing with the historic part about it and it’s over with. Talk about it and the next day show up and do the things I need to do to play good that day. That’s the only approach I have every day.”
Hamilton said he’s not completely oblivious to the streak he’s on or the historical perspective, but most of it has come in passing.
“Just like when they flash it when I’m walking through the training room they flash the numbers up there (on television) and guys are looking at me like (Hamilton tilts his head) and I’m like (he tilts his head again). I go back and look at the at-bats if I’m at home or something and have a moment. I’ll see there and look at what I did to study it. Numbers wise and stuff they flash in front of your face. Cy (Williams) is safe.”
Cy Williams is the only other player in major-league history to have 18 home runs in his team’s first 34 games. Williams, who played for Philadelphia, ended up leading the majors in homers in 1923 with 41 and also batted .293 with 114 RBI in
Hamilton said he’s not trying to hit home runs and is just trying to stay consistent from at-bat to at-bat. He also hasn’t put a number goal on his 2012 season, something he’s done in the past.
“I think about staying healthy first and foremost,” he said. “I know if I play a lot of games the numbers will end up where they need to be. This is the first year I’ve never set any goals for myself. I usually cap everything at .300, 30 homers, 100 RBIs. This year I’m just going out and playing. Wherever they end up they end up.”