Meet the Hamels: The Main Line's Power Duo Are Here to Stay

What is one of the best pitchers in the game really like once the cameras go away? Writer Michael Bradley shares his insight on the Phillies ace.

Editor Hobart RowlandI was headed home following a slippery Sunday afternoon negotiating snow-covered bike trails at Ridley Creek State Park when the sighting occurred. The rack I’d recently bought at Target was fast becoming a loose mess on the trunk of my car, so I was nervously peering into the rearview mirror at my bouncing mountain bike when a Lexus SUV appeared behind me on West Chester Pike.

It was Cole Hamels, engaged in what looked like an intense discussion with his wife, Heidi. They were in my field of vision maybe 10 seconds before Cole turned onto Route 202, but I had little doubt it was them. Both were dressed impeccably and likely headed to one of many local commitments in the harried weeks before the Phillies pitcher flew to Florida for spring training.

About a week later, I met the couple for the first time at the grand opening of the Hamels Foundation’s new Bryn Mawr headquarters. I quickly wound up in a discussion with Cole about our mutual love for West Chester. I also asked him about that winter Sunday on Route 3. He couldn’t recall where the two of them were going, but he did say the Lexus was Heidi’s.

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As someone who’s interviewed countless self-important entertainment types in the past 20 years, I can honestly say that nothing impresses more than modesty. And, on this night at least, Cole was blissfully oblivious to his own celebrity, not to mention ridiculously easy to talk to.

A seasoned sports journalist with a national reach, Michael Bradley has also encountered a surplus of larger-than-life egos. For “Contemplating Cole,” he spent significant quality time with the Phillies ace, and he’s reasonably convinced that Cole is a genuine guy and a driven athlete. But he also understands who runs the show. “It’s been well-documented that Heidi has worked hard with Cole on his interview skills, his wardrobe and his public persona,” says Bradley. “She’s keenly aware of the power of marketing.”

Now that the Hamels are sticking around awhile—thanks to Cole’s long-term contract with the Phils—we’ll get to dig a little deeper into what they’re about as people. And if Heidi has anything to say about it, we’re bound to be impressed.

TOP DOG: In keeping with the spirit of our annual Pets Guide, I thought I’d pass along some news about Mary Remer, whose bull terrier, Yum Yum, won “Best of Breed” in New York’s esteemed Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in February. Remer runs the highly respected What a Good Dog training center, with two locations in Villanova and Frazer. She’s been at it for 25 years, so this is a well-deserved honor.

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