Wednesday, Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Famer Charlie Manuel returned to the dugout as the team’s new hitting coach. It seems fitting then that on the day Manuel puts a uniform on for the first time since 2013, one of the best players from his eight-and-a-half seasons as Phillies skipper also is making his return to Citizens Bank Park.
In parts of 10 seasons with the Phillies, Cole Hamels made three All-Star teams and helped the Phillies to win five consecutive National League East titles between 2007 and 2011. In that period, the Phillies appeared in the NLCS three times, won two National League pennants and captured the franchise’s second World Series title in 2008. Hamels won both the NLCS MVP and World Series MVP at age 24 in 2008.
As the Phillies looked to turn the page on their golden era, they dealt Hamels to the Texas Rangers in 2015, along with reliever Jake Diekman. In return, they landed Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher and Matt Harrison.
In the four plus seasons that Hamels has been gone, he’s only returned to Citizens Bank Park once, at the tail-end of August of 2018, shortly after he had been traded to the Cubs. While Hamels heard some cheers in that three-game series, his turn in the rotation didn’t come up. He did pitch against the Phillies earlier this season, lasting just four innings and allowing nine hits a a game the Cubs eventually won 8-4 at Wrigley Field.
Wednesday, though, was the first time that Hamels took the field at Citizens Bank Park as an opponent. And, as expected, the 35-year-old lefty was given a standing ovation by thankful Phillies fans:
Additionally, Hamels is paying tribute to former Phillies chairman David Montgomery, who passed away in May:
Really cool tribute by Cole Hamels. pic.twitter.com/LQskum0C1I
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 14, 2019
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