October 13, 2010
We can't tell from our vantage point, but somewhere beneath that waterfall of ginger ale is Texas Rangers MVP candidate Josh Hamilton(notes). The people holding the quickly emptying Canada Dry bottles are his teammates and they're making sure that all can celebrate the Rangers' 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the ALDS on Tuesday night.
[Rewind: Hamilton avoids AL West clinching party]
If you remember correctly, it was Hamilton who sat out the team's AL West clincher party last month because he's a recovering drug and alcohol addict who didn't want to be tempted or give the wrong impression to the fans who support him. A few teammates tried to douse him with water after that win, but let's be honest, there's nothing fun about getting sprayed by water. Hamilton quickly left the clubhouse to go talk with a church group.
The bubbly, on the other hand, is a different degree of fun and the Rangers were prepared this time around. According to our own Tim Brown, they started celebrating the franchise's first playoff series victory by breaking out the green plastic soda pop bottles and making sure that Hamilton got his. Their star outfielder responded by telling reporters that "this stuff burns your eyes just like that other stuff (champagne) does." Meanwhile, his wife said that it was "precious" that the team had her husband's best interests in mind.
[Photos: See the Rangers star in action]
The rest of the Rangers later celebrated by uncorking real champagne and cracking actual beer cans — after Hamilton had left, of course — but holding off for a bit and making the celebration all inclusive ranks as a very cool move. Cheers on your celebration, Rangers.