NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – His Major League Baseball career could’ve been his greatest glory, but one man in Queens had a higher calling.
Mark Hamilton had a successful baseball career, reports CBS2’s Steve Overmyer.
He was a 9-year pro and won a World Series ring with the St. Louis Cardinals, but his new career has a different purpose: As a doctor.
“It’s interesting to walk into medicine at a time like this,” said Dr. Mark Hamilton. “It’s something here in the United States we thought these are problems the rest of the world deals with and we don’t really deal with this, but here we are.”
Hamilton spent most of his career in the minors appearing in 47 Major League Games. His graduation from the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra has been fast-tracked so he could join the fight faster.
Now he’s a doctor. His new team is Northwell’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center
“I grew up around medicine and this is something I’ve always wanted to do, and so fortunate to do it after my baseball career,” said Hamilton. “We’re walking into a firestorm as you put it because it’s dire circumstances for a lot of people.”
Through baseball history plenty of players have the nickname “Doc,” far fewer have earned it.
“Sports are amazing and you see people’s accomplishments, and they’re incredible and bring people joy, but they don’t bring people life,” he said.
Hamilton is not the first Major Leaguer to become a physician after his playing days.
Moonlight Graham was made famous in the movie “Field of Dreams,” but Hamilton’s inspiration was former-Yankee-turned-doctor Bobby Brown.
“Growing up, when I told my dad, when I was a pretty good baseball player, young, I said, ‘Hey, you know, I want to play in the Major Leagues and I want to be a doctor,'” Hamilton said. “And my dad said, ‘OK, you can do it, and I’ll show you who’s done it.’ And he showed me Doc Brown.”
Brown played for the Yankees and later became president of the American League, in addition to his career as a physician.
“His career was astounding when you see the things that he’s done, and the things he’s done in medicine have been astounding. So it was something to aspire to,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton has received his most important call up to the show.
“The wins in medicine is every single time someone can help someone through a difficult hour,” he said.
He used to fight off fastballs, but now fighting to save lives.