Former Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor in a case that stemmed from an altercation with his teenage daughter, authorities said.
Hamilton, 40, pleaded guilty Tuesday to unlawful restraint under a plea deal dismissing a 2020 felony indictment for injury to a child, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office in Ft. Worth, Texas, in social media posts.
State District Judge Mike Thomas sentenced Hamilton to one year of deferred probation, fined him $500 and ordered him to pay court costs, do community service and attend parenting and anger management classes. Thomas ordered him not to consume alcohol, to submit to random urine drug tests, and to have no contact with the daughter he was restraining. If he meets the parole requirements, the charge will be dismissed.
Hamilton’s attorneys had said the Rangers Hall of Famer was innocent of injuring a child.
His 14-year-old daughter told her mother, Hamilton’s ex-wife, that her father beat her after becoming enraged by her comment.
According to an affidavit from a Keller Police Department detective, Hamilton’s daughter told police he became enraged on Sept. 30, 2019. She says she made a comment to Hamilton that upset him, so she he threw a full water bottle at her, hitting her in the chest, then cursed and yelled at her.
He pulled out the chair she was propping her feet on and threw it, breaking the chair, she told detectives. He didn’t hit her, but he grabbed her by the shoulders and lifted her from the chair she was sitting on. She fell to the ground, and he picked her up, slung her over her shoulder, and carried her into her bedroom.
The girl said at the time that she was telling Hamilton, “I’m sorry.” Arriving at her bedroom door, she threw the teen onto her bed, pressed her face into the mattress, and began beating her legs with her open hand and clenched fist.
She said that after he finished hitting her, he said he expected her to tell the judge, “What a terrible father I am, so I don’t have to see you anymore and you don’t have to come to my house again.”
When she left the room, Hamilton’s daughter said he told her to get her things for school. When she replied that she had already put them in the car, he responded, “Well, aren’t you just the perfect kid?”
The affair “has been a nightmare, to put it mildly,” according to a statement read on behalf of the daughter when Hamilton pleaded guilty.
“My mom has taught me to forgive and love well, set limits and pray for those who hurt us, but it’s not always easy. I hope for everyone’s sake that she gets the help that she needs,” she said.
Hamilton also has two other daughters with his ex-wife, Katie Chadwick Hamilton.
After Hamilton was the first overall pick out of high school in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 1999 amateur draft, his career was nearly destroyed by cocaine and alcohol use. He returned to baseball with the Cincinnati Reds and made his major league debut in 2007 when he hit 19 home runs in 90 games before being traded to the Rangers. He made his only two World Series teams (2010 and 2011) and was an All-Star five seasons in a row.
An impressive display in the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium in 2008 was a career highlight, when for the first time he led the American League with 130 RBIs while batting .304 with 32 home runs in his first full season. He hit four home runs in the 2010 American League Championship Series and had a four-homer game in Baltimore in 2012.
Hamilton left the Rangers in free agency, signing a five-year, $125 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels before the 2013 season. He was recovering from shoulder surgery when the Angels traded him to Texas in 2015, after two injury-plagued seasons. He played 50 games for Texas in 2015, but never again after he underwent surgery at least three times afterward.
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Josh Hamilton on probation for a year