The last member of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies has retired. Cole Hamels signed with the San Diego Padres back in February but has not appeared in a Major League game since the shortened 2020 season. His last pitch was with the Atlanta Braves in just one appearance that year.
Hamels was drafted by the Phillies in the first round in 2002. He was a highly touted prospect in the organization and his debut was highly anticipated. The left-hander made his Phillies' debut in 2006 and would pitch for the club until he was dealt at the 2015 trade deadline.
Hamels career as a Phillie was full of memorable moments. Most notably he will be remembered by Phillies fans for his dominance in the 2008 postseason that culminated with the club winning its second-ever World Series of which Hamels was the MVP. During that memorable postseason run, the then 24-year-old Hamels pitched 35 innings with a 1.80 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP.
After a disappointing 2009 postseason performance, Hamels bounced back in 2010 and 2011. During those postseasons, he would go on to start three more games and allow just two earned runs in 21 innings pitched. Unfortunately for the Phillies they were never able to replicate the success of the 2008 team despite having arguably much better rosters in 2010 and 2011.
Hamels had another memorable moment that is connected to the current Phillies roster. In May of 2012 the Phillies' pitcher threw at then Washington Nationals rookie Bryce Harper. Hamels did not deny the fact that he intentionally drilled Harper with a pitch in the 19-year-old Harper's first at bat of the game.
Another Hamels moment that will be part of Phillies lore for generations was his final start in a Phillies uniform. There had been talks that he would be traded at the deadline, but no one knew for sure that his start on July 25, 2015, would be his last for the club. During that afternoon game at Wrigley Field, Hamels was dominant. He went on to throw his first career no hitter in what ended up being an exclamation point to the end of his Phillies tenure.
Later that week Hamels was traded to the Texas Rangers where he would pitch for two and half seasons and make another two postseasons. Then the southpaw was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2018 where he would pitch for much of the rest of his career.
Hamels heads into the sunset with solid career numbers and several accolades to his name. He appeared in 423 games and threw 2,698 innings in all. He finished his career with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP with 2,560 strikeouts. Hamels final career ERA+ is a respectable 123 and he had 59 WAR. The left-hander was a four time All-Star, a National League Championship Series MVP, and a World Series MVP and champion.
Even though Hamels ended his career outside of Philadelphia, he will be remembered by his tenure in the city of Brotherly Love. He was a vital member of one of the most exciting eras of Phillies baseball in the organization's history. He will always be part of the team that brought a World Series back to Philadelphia after a 28-year drought. His name will be mentioned with Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard. He was also a member of one of the best rotations in team history alongside the late Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Joe Blanton.
His retirement marks the end of the final chapter of what was one of the greatest stretches of time the 140-year-old franchise has seen. Perhaps Hamels will be given a plaque on the Phillies' Wall of Fame during the next great run.