Josh Hamilton, a Los Angeles Angels outfielder and popular former Charleston RiverDogs star who overcame minor-league drug problems to become one of the top players in major league baseball, has had a cocaine and alcohol relapse, a source told CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman.
Hamilton, 33, is a Raleigh, N.C., native who played for the RiverDogs in 2000. He hit 10 home runs and batted .312 for Charleston, and was a fan favorite at Riley Park that year.
Drug and alcohol problems haunted Hamilton from 2004-2006, though they appeared to be under control by the time he made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007.
Hamilton has hit 192 homers and owns a .292 batting average over his eight big league seasons. He helped the Texas Rangers reach the World Series in 2010 and 2011.
Heyman reports that Hamilton is scheduled to meet with MLB officials Wednesday and has admitted going on a “binge” involving cocaine a few months ago.
The Los Angeles Times has reported that Hamilton was in New York on Wednesday to talk about a “disciplinary issue” with baseball officials.
Hamilton apparently hasn’t failed a drug test and would be treated as a first-time offender at the major league level because his other drug issues happened while he was under minor league contracts.