ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton got some extra hitting advice before Game 3 of the World Series. It came from one of his most important coaches, some 500 miles from Tecomate Ranch.
"When you go up to the plate, Josh, I want you to think: Big bucks and big bass," Dr. Gary Schwarz told him. "And just relax and play the game."
Schwarz and nine family members made the 500-mile trip up from McAllen, Texas, near the Mexico border, where they own hunting ranches and fishing lakes. Hamilton broke away from batting practice Saturday, pushed the foul screen aside and spent several minutes hugging and posing for pictures with the clan, who have become an important part of his life.
"We have a TV show, 'Bucks of Tecomate,' it's the highest-rated hunting show on Versus," Schwarz explained. "Somebody brought him to the ranch two years ago and we ended up hitting it off. He ended up shooting a show, and we became just really close friends. He came back last year, and he's coming again this year. He's a special guy."
Hamilton, on his way to the clubhouse after BP, said the McAllen visitors "mean the world to me." He got them a couple of seats behind home plate and then helped arrange for the rest of the tickets.
"The first time I met them, it was pretty special," Hamilton said. "We hit it right off. He loves Christ, I love Christ; his whole family does, mine does. And just to be outdoors and be able to spend time with each other, and for my family to meet his and really connect, means a lot.
"I know [Schwarz] does a lot for kids and for people down where he lives, with all the surgeries he does, as far as being a dentist, but it's pretty special that he can come up here and bring his family and be able to share this with us."
As for the advice at the plate, Hamilton smiled and said he planned to use it.
"Yep, bucks and bass," he said. "I'll be relaxed."
Hamilton has revealed that he might have a sports hernia. Schwarz said of the slugger: "Of course, Josh is hurting really bad. He's in a lot of pain. But you know, you're not going to keep him off the field."
Is Hamilton as good a hunter as he is a hitter?
"Even though he has experience in hunting, he listens," Schwarz said. "He's coachable. A lot of the people come and they know everything. Josh comes, and even though he was way more experienced than I thought, he listens and he's incredible. He's a natural athlete with everything, including shooting a rifle.
"We get mainly big whitetails. But I've got trophy bass lakes, and he loves to fish. He'll come down and he'll start early morning during fishing season, and he won't stop 'till the end of the day. I mean, he attacks it."
Schwarz attended Texas' victory in Game 3 of the 2010 World Series. He said he has come to develop a greater appreciation for one of Major League Baseball's biggest stars.
"He is a real man. He is for real," Schwarz said. "There's nothing fake about him or put on. He's got humility. He's smart, gifted, [a] great speaker, a man of his word, Godly man. I've never met anyone like him -- someone who's been through the crucible that he's been through, and then overcome it, and maintain that humility through it all, [that's] a very rare thing."