Hamels grateful for dad's support
Phillies southpaw attributes early love of baseball to father
PHILADELPHIA -- Cole Hamels' pitching career began in the backyard of his boyhood home in California. The young lefty would throw to his father, Gary Hamels, stationed in a catcher's stance in the opposite end of the yard.It wasn't always as pretty as Hamels' two complete-game shutouts this season. Cole recalls stray pitches that bounced off his father's shins and ankles and even a few that broke windows. But that never deterred Gary's devotion to his son's progress. "He was always there to catch me as long as I wanted," Cole said of his father. "Without him, I don't think I would have become as good."
Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.