Cole Hamels will go down as one of the most influential pitchers in the history of Philadelphia. He's won a World Series MVP, a world championship and threw a no-hitter at Wrigley Field (all in red pinstripes).
Though never truly a fan favorite, Phils fans will always have a soft spot for the lanky lefty who won their hearts with a killer change up.
After being traded last season for a ransom of talent that looks poised to welcome a new era of competitiveness in Philadelphia, Hamels, 32, is glad to be on a new team.
"It was good timing, for everything, the way it worked out with this team, just coming on," Hamels told the media after a recent game. "Every guy here has just been unreal. It’s probably been the most positive team I’ve been around. Because you might have the superstars, but not necessarily having the superstars in their primes. So I think when I came up, I was around the guys that are superstars in their primes. They were positive because they were just superstars."
RELATED LINK: Phillies have a bevy of red hot prospects
Hamels is 9-1 with a 2.60 ERA for the Rangers and the squad looks poised to make a run not only at an AL West title, but a World Series as well.
The hurler is revitalized.
“That’s what it does," Hamels said. "The guys that I did talk to [Jamie Moyer, Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, Matt Stairs and others] when they experienced the same things, when they got traded, they were nothing but positive. That’s what they said. ‘You are going to have a lot of fun. You can recreate your career again in a sense.’“
Hamels went on to say that he does follow along with some of the prospects the Phils got in return for him (Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, Jake Thompson, Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff) many of whom have become household names already in Philly. And he thinks current manager Pete Mackanin is the right man to man the ship for the youthful and rebuilding team.
"Especially with Pete, he’s one of the best," Hamels said. "Gosh, that timing of that group with Pete is outstanding with how they are going to build.”