David Montgomery

Cole Hamels honors David Montgomery by wearing DPM patch on his Cubs jersey

Cole Hamels honors David Montgomery by wearing DPM patch on his Cubs jersey

On Wednesday night, Cole Hamels pitched at Citizens Bank Park as a visiting player for the first time in his big-league career.

But he did so with the Phillies in his heart and on his sleeve.

Hamels beautifully saluted David Montgomery by sporting the "DPM" patch, which represents the initials of the beloved former Phillies president who died on May 8. The 2008 World Series MVP asked for the patch back in May when the Phillies visited Wrigley Field.

"It's going to be in my locker and I'm going to be staring at it every day," Hamels said then, via NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury. "It's important. I'm thankful that I get to play the game of baseball, but what David taught me has made me a better person and man. I got to grow up [in Philadelphia]. The lessons that I learned and the maturity I gained had a lot to do with David."

Hamels had the patch right there on his Cubs jersey Wednesday night. 


(NBC Sports Philadelphia)

Did Hamels receive permission from Major League Baseball to wear the patch?

No, I'll take the fine, I really don't care," Hamels told reporters postgame Wednesday. "David meant a lot to me and my wife [Heidi]. For what it's worth, coming here at 18 years old and being here for such a long time, he was a person that was in our life a lot.

Hamels was drafted by the Phillies in 2002 and played 10 seasons in red pinstripes. The Philadelphia area became home for the lefty from California, who was taught by Montgomery the importance of doing charitable work in the community.

At Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night, Hamels received standing ovations as he took the mound in the bottom of the first inning and when he came up to the plate in the third.

Hamels raised his right arm to acknowledge the crowd. 

Montgomery's initials were raised, as well.

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Phillies give beloved former club president David Montgomery a moving sendoff

Phillies give beloved former club president David Montgomery a moving sendoff

Dark clouds gathered around Citizens Bank Park on Thursday afternoon and raindrops began to fall. Umbrellas starting popping up as folks walked into the ballpark.

And then the clock hit 3 p.m. and all of a sudden those pesky raindrops disappeared and the sun came out. It shined for the next 75 minutes as the Phillies remembered their beloved former team president David Montgomery in a beautiful and touching celebration of life.

As the poignant event came to a close, emcee Tom McCarthy astutely noticed the change in weather.

“I think we had a window,” he said, looking skyward with a smile.

The comment drew soft laughter from the folks who had gathered for this special event. Those who knew Montgomery well know how much he hated rainouts. Whenever rain threatened a Phillies game, Montgomery would contact all of his go-to weather advisers and, more often than not, the Phillies would wait out the storm because, you know, there was "a window" that would allow the game to be played.

A gathering of about 2,000 people was on hand to pay tribute to Montgomery, who died May 8 after a five-year battle with cancer. He was 72.

The group of attendees included many former Phillies players from several different eras, including the current one. Montgomery started with the Phillies in 1971 and ascended to the role of club president in 1997. His legacy includes the 2008 World Series title, Citizens Bank Park and the Phillies’ incredible devotion to charitable endeavors in the city of Philadelphia.

Former Governor Ed Rendell, a friend of Montgomery’s dating to their days as students at Penn, spoke of how his pal grew up a huge Phillies fan and landed a job with the club after one meeting with club executive Bill Giles.

Even as he climbed the team’s executive ladder, Montgomery never lost his identification with the fans.

“His most lasting gift to the fans of Philadelphia is this stadium,” Rendell said. “He was determined to make it the most fan-friendly stadium in the major leagues.”

Larry Bowa and Jimmy Rollins both spoke about Montgomery’s passion for the Phillies, for baseball and for community service in his beloved hometown. (We wrote about that here last month.)

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred spoke of his 30-year friendship with Montgomery.

“He was an honest adviser with his finger on the pulse of the industry,” Manfred said. “For 30 years, I relied on Dave as an unwavering source of guidance. He delivered advice with a special kindness, even if the message was tough.”

The celebration of life included several outstanding videos on Phanavision. One of the most touching included a couple of dozen longtime Phillies employees delivering short, heartfelt messages to Montgomery. He always ran the Phillies like a family and the love that employees had for the boss was apparent in the messages — and the tears.

One of the final messages came from Kathy Killian, the team’s vice president of administration. She said that she often asks herself, “What would David do?” and went on to explain how that became her approach to her job.

David Montgomery touched a lot of lives and the Phillies did him right with a wonderful sendoff.

But he wouldn’t have wanted it to be sad. So at the end, the Phanatic appeared and everyone sang “Take Me out to the Ballgame.”

Under sunny skies.

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Cole Hamels honors David Montgomery and says finishing career in Philly has always been a thought of his

Cole Hamels honors David Montgomery and says finishing career in Philly has always been a thought of his

CHICAGO — Cole Hamels received a special delivery Thursday morning.

He is now in possession of one of the memorial patches that the Phillies are wearing on their game jerseys to honor David Montgomery.

The beloved former club president died earlier this month after a five-year battle with cancer. His initials — DPM — are on the patch that the Phillies wear on their right sleeves.

Hamels requested one and Chris Ware of the Phillies' communications office delivered it before Thursday's game at Wrigley Field.

Hamels said he would love to have worn the patch when he faced the Phillies on Wednesday night. But he now wears a Chicago Cubs uniform and major league baseball rules prevent that.

“David wouldn’t have wanted that anyway,” the pitcher said with a laugh. “He would have said, ‘Don’t get fined for me.’ "

Hamels said he would display the patch in a special place.

“It’s going to be in my locker and I’m going to be staring at it every day,” he said. “It’s important. I’m thankful that I get to play the game of baseball, but what David taught me has made me a better person and man. I got to grow up [in Philadelphia]. The lessons that I learned and the maturity I gained had a lot to do with David.”

Montgomery led the Phillies from 1997 to 2014. Hamels was drafted by the Phillies in 2002 and was World Series MVP in 2008. He was traded as part of a rebuild in the summer of 2015.

During his time in Philadelphia, Hamels did more than pitch. He and his wife started a foundation dedicated to charitable causes in the community, particularly those that benefit children and education. Though Hamels now works elsewhere, he continues to do charitable works in the area.

“David kind of introduced me to the power of a platform,” Hamels said. “He helped Jimmy (Rollins), Chase (Utley) and Ryan (Howard) and I to understand what charity is and how to do it, and the Phillies were all about the hands-on in helping us do it throughout a season and providing us with opportunities to make an impact. That’s something that will always go further than baseball.”

When the City of Philadelphia honored Montgomery by naming a Roxborough ball field after him in November, Hamels was there. He actually threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Hamels is 35 now but still has bullets in his left arm. He will be a free agent after this season. He still owns a home in the Philadelphia area.

Hmmm.

“I want to play a couple more years,” he said.

What about finishing his career right back where it started?

“Yeah, but they don’t give multi-year deals anymore to old guys,” he said with a laugh.

Growing serious, he said, “It’s always a thought of mine. I’ll never try to alienate or write somebody off. The team wants to win and I want to win and that’s why I was really lucky that (the Cubs) picked up my option because I know that we have a team that can win and I want to be a part of that.

"I know Philly is finally getting into that where they can make a five-, six-, seven-year run like we did and taking back that division. To be a part of something that special, I would consider it, but I know that I have to play well and everything has to fit. As long as I take care of business on the field, I think that allows the options to be there.”

Philadelphia might be a good one.

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