Hamilton feels the burn of special bubbly

Hamilton feels the burn of special bubbly

ST. PETERSBURG -- When the Rangers wrapped up the American League Division Series with a 5-1 victory on Tuesday, they eventually made their way to the clubhouse to pop open the traditional celebratory beverage.

Ginger ale. There was no beer or champagne in sight. The slight diversion was for Josh Hamilton, who was completely soaked with the stuff the minute he walked into the clubhouse.

"It was a really cool thing," Hamilton said.

Hamilton can't drink because of his past problems with drugs and alcohol. When the Rangers celebrated the division title in Oakland, Hamilton had to steer clear of the celebration and couldn't go into the clubhouse.

The ginger ale changed all of that. Pitcher C.J. Wilson, who also doesn't drink alcohol, also joined in the festivities.

"It was a great idea," third baseman Michael Young said. "Josh and C.J. are a big part of our ballclub, and we wanted them to be able to celebrate with us."

The idea originated with equipment manager Richard Price.

"This stuff still burns your eyes, too," Hamilton said. "But for them to adapt the celebration to this, it really says a lot about our organization."

Eventually the Rangers broke out the beer and the champagne, but only after Hamilton and Wilson were properly baptized.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.