Ex-Cardinal Mark Hamilton finishes medical school, set to fight virus

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If he wanted, Mark Hamilton could show off his World Series ring at work.

But the fill-in first baseman for the 2011 champion St. Louis Cardinals prefers to keep that prize safe at home.

“The surgical scrub tub, not the most conducive place to wear it,” Hamilton said.

On Friday, under an accelerated schedule prompted by dire circumstances, the former big leaguer is set to graduate a month early from medical school on Long Island.nfl jerseys nike cheap

Next stop for the rookie doc, the first-hand fight against the coronavirus pandemic in one of the world’s hardest-hit areas.

“I could get the call tomorrow, that it’s time to go in,” Hamilton said this week. “I have had an incredible journey to becoming a doctor over the last four years, and not once did I think that I would find myself entering the field in a time like this.”

“Over both my careers, it’s the same thing. You’ve got a job to do, you’re needed, do them to the best of your ability,” he said.2

The 35-year-old Hamilton spent the first half of the 2011 season with the Cardinals. He subbed for slugger Albert Pujols a few times and even got a winning hit that ultimately helped St. Louis squeeze into the playoffs by one game.

The left-handed hitter who played 47 games in the majors will join another lineup once he leaves the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

“That’s a great story, what Mark’s done. That’ll be a high point at this period,” said Hall of Famer Tony La Russa, Hamilton’s manager with the Cards.cheap nike nfl jersey

“What he’ll be doing, out there on the front lines helping people, that’s really something,” he said.

Throughout baseball history, plenty of players have drawn the nickname Doc — Dwight Gooden and Roy Halladay among them.

Far fewer have earned the title in the classroom — including Moonlight Graham, the real-life ballplayer-turned-doctor portrayed in the film “Field of Dreams.”

Perhaps the most prominent was Bobby Brown, an October star for the New York Yankees in the 1940s and ’50s who also was a military veteran, president of the American League and longtime cardiologist.

It’s a path Hamilton — who played at Tulane, as did Brown — planned on long ago.