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Hamilton voted to AL All-Star team

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Josh Hamilton and the feel-good story of his battle back from substance abuse problems continues to make the former Athens Drive High star one of the most popular players in baseball.

Despite missing more than half of the Texas Rangers' games this season because of injuries, Hamilton received 2,412,359 fan votes for the All-Star Game to rank third among American League outfielders and grab a starting spot for the July 14 game in St. Louis.

Hamilton is currently on the disabled list with after having surgery on June 9 to repair a torn abdominal muscle, but could be back with the Rangers as soon as Monday.

Hamilton, out since June 2, is hitting .240 with six homers and 24 RBIs in 35 games for the Rangers this season.

He is playing for the Triple-A Oklahoma RedHawks on rehabilitation assignment this weekend. The RedHawks' game was rained out on Saturday, delaying his return to the major leagues. The RedHawks are scheduled to play two seven-inning games today.

Hamilton was 2-for-20 in his four-game rehabilitation assignment heading into Sunday's RedHawks games, prompting Rangers manager Ron Washington to push back his return to the big leagues. 

"We just want him right when he comes back," Washington told MLB.com. "As long as he feels good, that's all that matters. It's hard to predict. We just gotta wait and see how he's doing. If that means a couple of extra days, it's another couple of days."

Hamilton, who made a huge splash in the home run derby last season when he hit a record 28 homers in the first round and finished second to Minnesota's Justin Morneau in the final round, has said that he will play in the All-Star Game if elected to start but would not participate in the long-ball showcase this year.

 

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About the blogger

Bill Woodward has worked at the N&O since 1977, covering college and minor league baseball for more than 20 years while also working as a copy editor. Bill won the Raleigh Hot Stove League media award twice and was named Southern League writer of the year in 1995. E-mail Bill.
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