CHICAGO — When the City of Philadelphia dedicated a Roxborough ball field in David Montgomery’s honor in November, Cole Hamels was there.
Montgomery’s passing earlier this month hit Hamels hard. Montgomery was Phillies club president when the pitcher was drafted by the club in 2002 and the two rode together down Broad Street after the Phils won the World Series in 2008. Hamels, of course, was MVP of that series.
Hamels still does charitable work in Philadelphia. He has credited Montgomery for igniting that charitable spirit in him.
The Phillies are wearing a patch with the initials DPM on the right sleeve of their game jerseys in honor of Montgomery.
Though Hamels now pitches for the Chicago Cubs and has not worn a Phillies jersey since July 2015 when he was traded to Texas, a piece of him remains with the club and a piece of Montgomery remains in his heart. That’s why Hamels reached out to Greg Casterioto of the Phillies communications department and asked if he could get one of the patches when the Phillies traveled to Chicago. Chris Ware of the Phillies communications department plans to catch up with Hamels before Thursday's series finale and deliver the patch.
Hamels started against the Phillies on Wednesday night. It was the first time he’d ever pitched against his old club and it came in the same ballpark where he last pitched for the Phils. Who could forget that storybook close to Hamels’ time with the Phillies — a no-hitter against the Cubs on July 25, 2015?
It was just one of the memories that Hamels took from Philadelphia. Others, of course, included the 2008 World Series title and his relationship with David Montgomery. Hamels will soon have a tangible memory of that bond.
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