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Hamilton trading in his hot bat for hot pink bat in Mother's Day special tonight

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Look out, Josh Hamilton is going off script tonight.

The bat with which he's historically homered nine times in Texas' past six games will remain in the rack for the Rangers' Sunday night game with the Angels.

Instead, Hamilton told me he will join dozens of other major leaguers today and use a pink Louisville Slugger in honor of Mother's Day.

"I'm not superstitious," he said during a brief conversation in the Rangers' dugout during batting practice. "I know that's hard to believe, that a baseball player isn't superstitious."

Then he smiled and joked, "You guys act like it's got lightning hidden in it."

No, but it does have a small, silver sticker affixed to it authenticating that it is, in fact, the bat he used to tie a major-league record last week in Baltimore by walloping four home runs in one game. Eventually, it will be shipped to the Hall of Fame, but that's on hold. Hamilton said he wants to keep using it until it cracks.

So far, it's held together very well. Following those four home runs, Hamilton used the bat to hit four more home runs, including three in the first two games of the Angels series.

Hamilton is only the second player since 1918 to hit 18 home runs in his team's first 34 games, according to baseball-reference.com, joining the Phillies' Cy Williams (1923).

He also joins Frank Howard (Washington Senators, 1968, 10 homers and 17 RBI) and Shawn Green (Los Angeles Dodgers, 2002, nine homers, 17 RBI) as the only players with at least nine homers and 15 RBI over a six-game span, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Hamilton has nine homers and 15 RBI over the Rangers' past six games.

"We keep talking about it, it's going to crack in the first at-bat tonight," Hamilton cracked.

Which brings to mind a couple of things: What happened to not being superstitious? And how can it crack tonight if he's using a pink bat?

Except ... hmmm, can a bat be pinch-hit for? If Hamilton is unhappy with the way his first plate appearance goes, might he ditch the pink bat and bring back his modern Wonderboy?
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