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Mark Hamburger's MLB career derailed by pot; he now lives in parents' Shoreview basement

Hamburger's promising career stalled thanks to a "performance enhancing drug" -- not steroids, but ganja.
Hamburger's promising career stalled thanks to a "performance enhancing drug" -- not steroids, but ganja.

Think marijuana is a harmless drug? We mostly agree. But if you're looking for a sad pot-related story, look no further than the tale of 26-year-old Mounds View grad Mark Hamburger.

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Two years ago, Hamburger, a former Twins prospect, pitched five games for the Texas Rangers. His future seemed bright, and millions of dollars of income looked to be in his short-term future. But then he tested positive for pot. And then, this winter, he tested positive again.

The second failed drug test triggered an automatic 50-game suspension from the MLB, but Hamburger won't begin serving it until he signs with another team. In the meantime, he's pitching for the St. Paul Saints while living in his parents' Shoreview basement, and he recently completed a 28-day drug treatment course at a Hazelden center.

In an interview with the Pioneer Press, Hamburger acknowledged he "had a few issues."

"I partied all through baseball, and it caught up with me," he continued, adding that his month-long treatment was to "clear my head."

"I've been sober, and it's the best I've ever felt," Hamburger said.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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