Hamels gives back to Philly with charity event
Despite trade rumors, lefty says Philadelphia is his family's home
PHILADELPHIA -- The sixth annual Diamonds and Denim charity event wasn't necessarily the last.
Put on each year by Cole Hamels, his wife, Heidi, and their Hamels Foundation for the benefit of Philadelphia area schools, this year's event was cloaked in a little more uncertainty than usual, as the foundation's namesake is rumored to be on the trading block and possibly headed out of Philadelphia.
Despite these rumors, Hamels made it abundantly clear that regardless of where he plays baseball, Philadelphia will be his home.
"I've tried to make a big stance of this is where we live," the Phillies' left-handed pitcher said. "This is where we make our home and this is where we're kind of growing up. We're learning a lot. It's a different vibe than what we grew up with. But we cherish it and we cherish the knowledge, and we're trying to give back everything that we can to the city, because without them, it's really hard to do what I do."
Hamels went on to say that everything he does as a baseball player is made possible because of the support he gets from the Philadelphia fan base, and he also said the same goes for his foundation. Over the past six years, he said he's been able to see tangible results with his foundation through the continued work with principals, students and parents.
Many of Hamels' current and former Phillies teammates were on hand for the function, including Chase Utley, Jeff Francoeur, Ken Giles, Adam Eaton, Darin Ruf, Cameron Rupp, Ben Revere, Cody Asche, manager Ryne Sandberg and Ryan Howard. Howard agreed with Hamels' sentiment that the best part of this function was seeing how the foundation has grown over the years.
"It's always great to be able to come out and give back," Howard said. "We've been doing this for the last four or five years. Every year it gets better and better."
The Phillies weren't the only Philadelphia team represented on the night, as Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin was on hand to help out, as was former Eagle and the inspiration for the film "Invincible," Vince Papale.
And though Papale was there for charity, not even he could avoid bringing up the topic on everyone's mind: Hamels' future.
"I know there's a lot of speculation," Papale said. "But he's served the Philadelphia community well. I'd be sorry to see him go."