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Cole Hamels

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609px-Cole Hamels 2008 v Reds.jpg

Colbert Michael Hamels

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[edit] Biographical Information

Pitcher Cole Hamels was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the 2002 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Darrell Conner and made his pro debut that summer. Despite missing most of 2004 and 2005 with injuries, he was still a very highly touted prospect when he made his big league debut in 2006. He didn't disappoint, allowing only one hit and striking out seven in a five-inning outing.

Hamels was the hero of the Phillies' conquest of a World Series title in 2008, being named MVP in both the NLCS, when the Phils defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, and in their win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the Fall Classic.

On May 6, 2012, he decided to administer some frontier justice when facing Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper for the first time. He plunked him in the 1st inning, and after the game admitted that he had done so deliberately, because Harper was showing too much of a cocky attitude after only a week in the majors; he added that this was his way of demonstrating that he was "old school". This earned him the opprobrium of Nats GM Mike Rizzo, who called him "gutless", "classless" and "fake tough". On the field, Harper replied by stealing home off Hamels when he was attempting a pick-off throw to first base, and Washington pitcher Jordan Zimmermann plunked him in turn when he came up to bat for the first time. Hamels was unfazed, giving up a single run in 8 innings on his way to a 9-1 win. The next day, Hamels was handed a five-game suspension for his action, while Rizzo was fined for his verbal outburst. He hit his first career home run off Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants on July 21st that year; ironically, it came just after he had himself surrendered a homer to Cain in the top of the same inning. About to become a free agent at the end of the season, there was speculation that he might be dealt at the trading deadline, with the Phillies uncharacteristically struggling in last place in the NL East, but instead the Phils announced on July 25th that he had signed a six-year extension with the team, worth $144 million. Shortly after signing the contract, he pitched back-to-back shutouts for the Phils, first blanking the Atlanta Braves, 3-0, on August 7th, then following up with a 4-0 whitewash of the Miami Marlins on August 13th, running his personal scoreless streak to 22 innings. He finished the year with the best stats of any Phillies pitcher, with a record of 17-6, 3.05 and 216 strikeouts in 215 1/3 innings, while throwing a pair of shutouts.

Hamels had another good season in 2013, in spite of the fact that his record was only 9-13. His ERA was a solid 3.60 in 220 innings, good for an ERA+ of 106, and he struck out 202 batters. The Phillies never were in contention that year, leading to the impression that he was doing poorly. He did run into problems during spring training in 2014, however, as he showed up with inflammation in his throwing shoulder after felling discomfort starting in November of the off-season. He was ordered rest, but suffered a setback in early March. he explained that he was feeling no pain, but that, on the hand, his arm was "fatigued out", making it unlikely he would be ready to pitch at the start of the season.

He married former Survivor contestant Heidi Strobel [1] on December 31, 2006.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 3-time NL All-Star (2007, 2011 & 2012)
  • 2008 NLCS MVP
  • 2008 WS MVP
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (2007 & 2012)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (2008 & 2010-2013)
  • 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 3 (2010, 2012 & 2013)
  • Won a World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008

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