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Hamilton goes fourth on historic night at the plate

The most amazing single performance I've ever seen live wasn't even a game. I was in the right-field auxiliary press area in old Yankee Stadium on that July night in 2008 when Josh Hamilton burst on the scene at the All-Star Home Run Derby with his absurdly fun 28-homer outburst.

Hamilton's comeback story from drug and alcohol abuse, of course, has been told many times since (and based on his slip-up during the offseason, it continues). The Rangers are now a two-time defending AL champion looking mighty good for another World Series trip as well.

But last night in Baltimore, Hamilton really took things to new levels. He had never hit more than two homers in a game in the big leagues, but became the 16th player since 1900 to crank four out, and all were two-run shots in a 10-3 win over the Orioles.

Hamilton also doubled and drove in eight runs in a fantasy-lineup bonanza, setting the AL record with 18 total bases. He's the first player to hit four homers in a game since Carlos Delgado did it for the Blue Jays in 2003. Hamilton has homered five times in his last six at-bats over the last two days and is the first player with six extra-base hits in six at-bats since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998.

The Rangers may just want to open that vault for Hamilton's longterm deal right now. He's batting .406, leading the majors with 14 homers and the price is going up by the day. Here's a look at Hamilton's four bombs. Amazing stuff.

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---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

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