Hamilton plays day after nephew's tragic death

Hamilton plays day after nephew's tragic death

CINCINNATI -- Losing a family member is hard enough, but it becomes even more heartbreaking when that person is a child. One night after learning that his nephew passed away, Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton played in Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Pirates.

Hamilton's 3-year-old nephew, K.C. Cole, died Tuesday in a car accident. Although details about the accident were not immediately known, Hamilton tweeted about his loss.

Reds manager Bryan Price was informed about the situation by Hamilton.

"I'd like to leave whatever was discussed with Billy," Price said. "He certainly had the choice of playing or not playing."

Although playing with a heavy heart, Hamilton had an electric moment to begin his night. Batting in the bottom of the first inning, he hit a ball down the right-field line that rolled slowly toward the corner. As Gregory Polanco made a long trek to retrieve the ball, Hamilton appeared poised for his first inside-the-park home run in the big leagues. But a good throw forced third-base coach Billy Hatcher to put up a stop sign, and Hamilton held up for a triple.

Hamilton's triple in the 1st

He went on to score on Brandon Phillips' RBI single and finished 1-for-4 in the game.

Hamilton was scheduled to return home to Mississippi afterward and will spend Thursday's off-day with his family. Hamilton will rejoin the Reds on Friday, when they open a three-game series vs. the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.