Josh Hamilton expected taunts from the crowd as he returned to Texas to play against his former team for the first time after signing with the Los Angeles Angels—and after his comments about Texas fans—but the comments made to his wife during Friday’s game were unacceptable, said Hamilton.
“They were saying personal stuff, stuff that was inappropriate with kids around,” he told USA Today and other media outlets before Saturday’s game. Hamilton’s two daughters and his wife, Katie Hamilton, had a suite of security guards with them for Saturday and Sunday’s games, but not Friday’s, since that game was sold out, the Rangers told The Dallas News.
“She had to call security just because people were getting ugly,” Hamilton said. “It’s cool to get ragged on about normal things, but when you get a little swearing and jawing back at Katie and saying inappropriate things, it’s a little different story.”
Hamilton said his children, thankfully, did not seem upset when they got home.
His treatment by Rangers fans comes after his comments about Texas baseball fans before he left to play for the Angels.
In a February interview with the CBS Dallas-Fort Worth television station, Hamilton said: “Texas, especially Dallas, has always been a football town. The good with the bad is, they’re supportive, but they also got a little spoiled at the same time, pretty quickly. You can understand a really true, true baseball town. There’s true baseball fans in Texas but it’s not a true baseball town.”
Hamilton later explained to ESPN that in 2008, his first season with the Rangers, the number of fans in the ballpark dropped by half after high school football started. He said he did, however, see an increase in the number of fans over his years in Texas.
Hamilton signed a five-year $125 million contract with the Angels this off season.
The taunts from the Rangers crowd not only targeted his comments about fans, but also his past substance abuse problems. He had been taunted in other cities before, but was disappointed that the same fans who cheered him during his five years as a Ranger had turned on him.
“I’ve been called ‘crack head’ before at Yankee Stadium and places like that,” Hamilton told USA Today, “just like I was today. So probably it hurts a little more knowing that people would turn that quickly. To think that they kind of supported you, as far as personally, with stories and things like that.”
“I’d lie to you if I said it didn’t bother me a little bit,” he said. “But, I mean, it didn’t overwhelm me.”