By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Phillies’ pitcher Cole Hamels followed up a Tuesday night pitching gem (see related story) with more good work today, to support Philadelphia’s inner city neighborhoods.
The ink has dried on that lucrative long-term contract, keeping Cole Hamels on the mound for the Phils (see related story). It also allows Hamels and his wife, Heidi, to plant more philanthropic seeds around Philadelphia.
“I’m so glad that David (Montgomery) and Ruben (Amaro) and the Phillies kept him around so that I could keep doing this,” said Heidi Hamels today outside the Bayard Taylor Elementary School, near Sixth and Erie Streets, in one of Philadelphia’s toughest neighborhoods.
Their Hamels Foundation provided a $300,000 grant to renovate the entire play yard at Taylor Elementary. Principal Deborah Drossner says she and her 570 students (kindergarten through fifth grade) are grateful.
“There was no safe place, no safe outdoor space for our children to play in within a ten-block radius of our school,” she notes.
Heidi is very much Cole’s equal in giving back.
(Heidi Hamels:) “It’s hard to leave something like this behind. You want to see promises you made kept, and see it come to full term.”
(Cole Hamels:) “Wanting something really bad, you can get a lot accomplished — that’s what it really shows.”
The schoolyard is called an “educational play space,” with a greenhouse, playground equipment, and a technology station, all backed up by a big mural depicting the lefty, #35, in a classic pose, right after he releases a pitch.