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Relive Hamels' no-hitter in Philly farewell

@ToddZolecki
April 7, 2020

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have thrown 13 no-hitters in their 137-year history. Each one is special, but some are more special. Roy Halladay’s no-hitter in the 2010 National League Division Series is in the more special category. Halladay’s and Jim Bunning’s perfect games -- in '10 and 1964, respectively --

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have thrown 13 no-hitters in their 137-year history. Each one is special, but some are more special.

Roy Halladay’s no-hitter in the 2010 National League Division Series is in the more special category. Halladay’s and Jim Bunning’s perfect games -- in '10 and 1964, respectively -- are in there, too.

Cole Hamels’ no-hitter against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 25, 2015, falls into the more special category as well. Why is it more special than maybe Tommy Greene’s no-hitter in 1991 or Kevin Millwood’s no-hitter in '03? Well, because of the person and the circumstances. Hamels was a homegrown Phillies ace who helped the organization win the '08 World Series, picking up Fall Classic and NL Championship Series Most Valuable Player Awards along the way. Phils fans loved him. They knew when he stepped onto the mound that afternoon in Chicago that it could be his final start for Philadelphia, which needed to trade him to kick-start its rebuild.

“Just a surreal moment,” Hamels said that day.

Hamels had a 19.89 ERA across his previous two starts, sparking speculation that he might not be traded at all. Yes, Hamels had a tremendous track record, but one more clunker could have made teams reluctant to part with a top prospect or two.

“He definitely increased his value, I would imagine,” then-Cubs manager Joe Maddon said afterward. “You’re going to get that higher prospect because of that performance today. He was really good. He is really good.”

“I’d be surprised if [then-Phillies general manager] Ruben [Amaro Jr.’s] phone isn’t [ringing] off the hook right now as we speak,” Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said.

The game ended when Odúbel Herrera made a circus-like catch on the warning track in center field. Hamels raised his arms and smiled. The Phillies traded the lefty to the Rangers a few days later. One of the prospects in that deal -- catcher Jorge Alfaro -- helped them get catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins in February 2019.

“Nothing will top winning a World Series, but I think this is probably on that top list,” Hamels said. “It's right under it.”

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .