Josh Hamilton may be struggling at the plate, but he is undeniably still winning in the field.

The Los Angeles Angels outfielder, who has a reputation for interacting with fans, recently provided one woman with a gift she'll never forget.

During a game between the Angels and the Oakland A's, Hamilton signed a ball for a fan in the stands. But he didn't stop with his autograph. He added a religious message as well as a wonderful compliment: "Your hair is awesome."

And when you see this fan's hair, you'll understand why Hamilton was impressed:

New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez also gave a souvenir ball to some female fans last year. But instead of an inspiring message and a compliment, Rodriguez asked for the women's phone numbers.

Advantage: Hamilton.

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Chad Johnson, the troubled former NFL star who is looking for a second chance in the league, recently stumbled upon another man who was down on his luck.

The 35-year-old Johnson sent out a series of tweets Saturday suggesting that he was hanging out with a homeless man known as "Pork Chop." Johnson's adventure started with a tweet that read, "Homeless dude asked for a beer, I bought him a case of a 24 n a pack of Newports, we balling together f--- it... "

After buying Pork Chop the cigarettes and beer, Johnson tweeted that he gave the man a watch so he could tell what time it was.


After sitting down with Pork Chop for a drink, Johnson had an interesting idea:


It is questionable to make decisions based on the Kardashian family's reality show, but Johnson went for it. He appears to have taken Pork Chop to Urban Outfitters, where Johnson bought him some new clothes.



Johnson later tweeted that he and Pork Chop were going to a club and jokingly said they should go job hunting together.

On Sunday, Johnson and Pork Chop reunited for another day of fun.


Looking past how bizarre this seems, if this is all true, Johnson deserves a tip of the cap. It hasn't been the easiest year for the former Pro Bowler, but it's gestures like this that suggest he is moving on from his troubled past.

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In addition to serving as Herschel Walker's first NFL coach and presiding over three of Walker's most successful seasons, Tom Landry also taught the Heisman Trophy winner a thing or two about how to handle himself off the field.

"Coach Landry said years ago if you take something out of society, put something back in," Walker said this weekend.

With Landry's advice in mind, Walker has participated eight times in NASCAR legend Kyle Petty's annual charity motorcycle ride. The ride benefits Victory Junction, a camp Petty established in North Carolina for children with chronic medical conditions. The 19th annual cross-country trek kicked off Saturday in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and will end 2,000 miles and six days later in Tempe, Arizona.

What started as a trek with a group of friends has become an event that draws hundreds of riders each year.

"Over the years, the Ride has turned into so much more than we ever anticipated," Petty said recently. "I'm grateful for the chance to spend time with friends, while meeting fans and generous supporters who ultimately help create memorable and fun camp experiences for wonderful children and their families."

Since Petty and his wife established the camp in 2004, more than 7,650 children have attended Victory Junction at no cost to their families, thanks to the funds raised by the Kyle Petty Charity Ride.

Walker has visited the camp several times and has come away impressed.

“Those kids have smiles on their faces," Walker said over the weekend. "I think that’s amazing."

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When Cameron Lyle, along with other University of New Hampshire athletes, provided mouth swabs to a bone marrow registry several years ago, they each had about a one-in-five-million chance of being a match for a non-family member.

And so you can imagine Lyle's surprise when he recently heard back from the National Marrow Donor Program. It turns out he was a 100 percent match for a 28-year-old man suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

If Lyle was to donate, he would have to miss the rest of his senior track and field season, including the America East Championships. Lyle had finished fifth and fourth in the shot put in 2012 and 2011, respectively.

But for the 21-year-old, the decision was easy. He is choosing to forego the last few weeks of his career to help a complete stranger.

"He has six months to live and I have the possibility to buy him a couple more years," Lyle told the Eagle-Tribune.

One of the hardest parts of the process fo Lyle was telling his track coach, Jim Boulanger, that his career would be coming to a premature end. But Boulanger was more than understanding.

"I told him, you either do 12 throws at the conference championships, or you give another man a few more years,” Boulanger told the Eagle-Tribune. “It was easy for me."

After the surgery later this month, Lyle will not be able to lift, 20 pounds above his head for a few weeks. The recipient will remain anonymous for at least one year, at which point Lyle and the recipient can choose to reveal their identities.

If Lyle sounds like a true hero to you, you're not the only one.

“He's my hero,” Lyle's mother, Christine Sciacca, said. "I couldn’t be more proud of him and how he’s been so humble about it."

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Joe Flacco ripped his own performance.

The Super Bowl MVP worked behind the counter at a Dairy Queen in suburban Baltimore, handing out ice cream sundaes and other orders, and his delivery wasn't quite as smooth as his throwing motion. In fact, he even committed a turnover, giving chicken fingers to a customer who had ordered burgers

His explanation? Lack of experience.

"I never had a job," Flacco told the Baltimore Sun. "My first job was quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens. I never had any experience with this, so that's why I'm not very good at it."

Flacco's presence Friday at the Dairy Queen in Rosedale, Md., was to present a $25,000 check to the Matthew J. Cheswick Memorial Fund, which was created in honor of a local high school student killed by a drunk driver in 2012.

It has been a busy season for Flacco, which includes signing a $120.6 million contract, appearing on David Letterman show, checking out Fashion Week in New York and being cast as Johnny Unitas in an upcoming film about the Baltimore Colts legend.

To hear it from Flacco, the Dairy Queen gig might have been the most challenging.

"If you were ordering sundaes from me and I was the one making them, you wouldn't be very happy with Dairy Queen," Flacco told USA Today. "Thank God that's not the case."

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For your average college football player, scoring a touchdown in a spring game is something that might easily be forgotten.

For 8-year-old Noah Roberts, achieving the feat was one of the highlights of his young life.

Noah, who suffers from a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis, has been around the East Carolina Pirates for two years. He's formed a special bond with the team and helped the coaches and players more than he may ever know.

So for head coach Ruffin McNeill and the rest of the team, letting the youngster run for a score on the last play of practice was the least they could do for Noah.

"Noah is special to us," McNeill said. "I think of Noah, I forget any kind of hurt or complaint or pain that I may have."

In a move reminiscent of a heartwarming gesture by the Nebraska Cornhuskers several weeks ago, the Pirates ended their scrimmage by watching Noah sprint into the endzone.

"If you didn't have goosebumps or a tear in your eye," offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said later, "you may want to check your pulse after that one."

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For Noah, who has had tumors removed from his brain and spinal cord during the past few years, the touchdown was a welcome reprieve from his grueling daily routine.

“When he found out about this it just lifted his spirits," Noah's mother, Lisa, told WCTI12, "he was so happy it’s given him something to look forward to the past few days."

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In the grand scheme of things, Todd Frazier's home run didn't mean much for the outcome of Thursday's Cincinnati Reds-Miami Marlins game.

By the time Cincinnati's third baseman blasted a shot over the center field fence in the sixth inning, the Reds were already leading, 9-1.

But under the circumstances of the at-bat, Frazier's long ball was one of the coolest home runs of the year.

Before Frazier went up to the plate he had some words with Ted Kremer, the Reds' bat boy. Kremer, who is autistic, had special motivation for Frazier.

"[Kremer] said, 'come on man, hit me a home run. I love you.'" Frazier recalled after the game. "And I said 'I love you, too. I'll hit you one. It was great how excited, that look, I started smiling before I even hit home plate."

On the second pitch of the at-bat, Fraizer delivered on his promise.

Afterwards, Kremer was so excited that he forgot to pick up Frazier's bat. But the pair's celebration produced this spectacular photo:


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Runners who didn't get to complete the Boston Marathon on Monday, and even those who did, will get the chance to cross the finish line this Saturday in Amherst.

The UMass football program announced that at halftime of this year's spring football game, Boston Marathon participants will be encouraged to take a lap around the field and cross the "finish line" at the 50-yard line. The runners' names will appear on the video board, and they'll also receive a gift presented by the school.

"Competing in the Boston Marathon is a lifetime achievement and something to be celebrated," said coach Charley Molnar, an avid runner himself. "These runners deserve to finish what they started and we hope we can provide that for them. We want them to have that feeling of coming down the home stretch to the sound of applause and to have their friends and families greet them as they cross the line."

The Minutemen will wear a commemorative Boston Marathon sticker on their helmets to honor the marathon runners as well as first responders.

For more information about the event, see here.

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Michelle Tesori, whose husband Paul is the caddy for Webb Simpson, had no trouble finding the lone palm tree at Augusta National this year.

That's because before last year's tournament, Paul challenged Michelle to find Augusta's only palm tree. Her reward? A $10,000 band that would complete her wedding ring.

"He said, ‘Nobody would find that tree without help. You have to promise not to Google it. If you find it, I’ll buy the ring,'" Michelle told Augusta.com this week.

On the Wednesday before last year's tournament, Michelle followed Paul and Webb as Simpson played a practice round with Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler. Upon hearing of Tesori's challenge for his wife, Watson pointed out the palm tree's location to the right of the green on the fourth hole.

Before the tournament had even started, Michelle won her bet with Paul. Luckily for Paul, Watson, Fowler and Simpson promised to pay for the ring if one of them won the tournament. And, as it would happen, Watson walked away with his first green jacket.

Paul bought the ring shortly after the Masters, not expecting Watson to fork over the money (when the jewelry store heard about the bet, they discounted the band to $7,500).

But at the PGA Championship, Watson's wife, Angie, called Paul over and wrote him a check for $7,500.

“Truthfully, the great story here is that Bubba won the Masters, the greatest golf tournament in the world," Michelle told Augusta.com this week, "and with all the amazing things going on in Bubba and Angie’s lives, becoming parents for the first time with the adoption of beautiful Caleb, the media requirements and the instant fame, Bubba remembered a little bet he'd made with a group of friends on Wednesday during the practice round."

There are more than 350 varieties of 80,000 plants at Augusta, but when Michelle came across the single palm tree near the par-3 fourth hole this week, she knew it immediately.

"It gives me chills," she said.

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For his final run through the stadiums and cities he has graced during the past two decades, Mariano Rivera wanted to do something special.

So before the season he and Jason Zillo, the Yankees director of communications, devised a plan that will allow Rivera to meet with team employees and/or fans at opposing ballparks throughout the course of the year.

Rivera recently met with about 25 Indians employees and fans during the Yankees' trip to Cleveland. As reported in the New York Times, the conversation was open and light. Fans asked about Rivera's best and worst memories of Cleveland as well as his favorite athlete growing up (Pele).

"That was so awesome," John Bowers, a veteran client service coordinator for season tickets, told the New York Times. "I don't recall ever hearing about anyone ever doing something like this before."

After the meeting ended, Rivera posed for photos and signed an autograph for each of the attendees.

"Wonderful, wonderful," Rivera told the Times after the event. "I just wanted to be able to say thank you to these people. I do appreciate what they do."

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