Hamels, who grew up in San Diego and starred at Rancho Bernardo High School, tripped in his hotel room at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday morning and was in the hospital getting stitches on his chin at 5 a.m. Several hours later, he was locked out of Petco Park for 30 minutes when he chose the wrong entrance to the stadium following the All-Star Game Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet.
The Rangers left-hander was still all smiles after the American League's 4-2 victory against the National League in the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard. His teammate and fellow All-Star Ian Desmond went 0-for-1.
"This is fun, and it's just an opportunity that doesn't happen," Hamels said. "For a lot of us in here, it's such a rarity to be able to do it and have the type of [hometown] following. It was great during the parade because a lot of them know I went to RB and a lot of them went to RB and had RB stuff on. People know you are a hometown player, and it was fun to see."
Hamels took the mound in the third inning with the American League up, 3-1, and made quite an eventful entrance.
He gave up a single to Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez on his first delivery and the next hitter, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell, flied out to the warning track in center field. Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist grounded into a fielder's choice for the second out, before the reigning NL MVP, the Nationals' Bryce Harper, followed with a double to move Zobrist to third.
But Hamels struck out Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant swinging to squash the scoring threat and end the inning.
"He did great, and I was really rooting for him," Desmond said. "But that's typical Cole. Nothing really fazes him."
As for Desmond, he replaced Angels' center fielder Mike Trout to start the sixth inning with the AL up, 4-2. He reached on a fielder's choice at the plate in the bottom of the seventh.
"It's been fun," Desmond said. "It's been eye opening for sure to be able to be in the clubhouse with guys like Miguel Cabrera, who has 11 All-Star Games, and for David's [Ortiz] last one. It's been special. The best is being able to experience it with my family. My kids are here and got to sit on the field during the Home Run Derby."
The Rangers resume play Friday with three games against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in what could be a World Series preview. Texas has the best record in the American League and the Cubs have the second-best record in the National League.
Hamels, who threw a no-hitter against the Cubs the last time he faced them at Wrigley last July, will likely face Russell, Bryant and Zobrist again on Sunday.
"I love playing at Wrigley Field, and it's going to fun to face those guys again," Hamels said. "They are All-Stars and great players. That organization has done a phenomenal job with what they are doing. We'll see who I face. They have an unbelievable pitching staff, and it's going to be a battle."