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Cole Hamels thanks Philadelphia fans for sticking with him, believes 2024 Phillies are the next team to win

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Cole Hamels didn't hold anything back as the Philadelphia fans roared upon his goodbye to the game he loved. Officially retiring as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, Hamels admitted it will take some time to soak in his retirement ceremony in front of the same fans who cheered him on for a decade in Philadelphia.

"I got to play a game I love, and for people that really appreciated it," an emotional Hamels said. "We got to do something really special in a city where the bond we have [with the city] is gonna be forever. To come back and be welcomed, be loved, and to just try to acknowledge how thankful we are to play in front of the best fans in the world."

"We did what we set out to do. We did get that trophy. What this city showed me as sports fans, helped me become an even bigger fan -- especially a fan of Philadelphia sports. You take that with you. The fans are everything."

Hamels' retirement was a celebration of an excellent career with the Phillies that culminated in the 2008 World Series championship, which remains the second -- and last -- title in franchise history. Hamels was the MVP of that World Series, etching himself in Phillies lore by going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 0.91 WHIP that October.

Hamels sealed his legacy in Philadelphia by throwing a no-hitter in his final start. The Phillies legend was presented with the pitching rubber and lineup card from that no-hitter in his final start with the Phillies in 2015. Aaron Nola was his teammate during that 2015 season, while Kyle Schwarber pinch-hit that game for the Cubs in the 8th inning on July 25.

Both gave the gifts to Hamels for being a part of that day, the closure Hamels earned after an excellent decade in Philadelphia.

"When you leave a team or a moment, and I left on such a high note, there's gonna be an expectation," Hamels said. "At the time, I kind of understood what was wrong with my shoulder and was just trying to buy time. That's why I signed with a bunch of other teams. They gave me an excellent opportunity that I didn't have to be the sort of Cole Hamels in Philly."

"In Philly, there was gonna be a bigger expectation. I wanted to go right. This city I've done everything for and they did everything for me. You want to give them a good show. You want to be able to entertain and you want to be able to win. If you don't have 100% of everything going, you don't wanna be a letdown."

Hamels made three All-Star games with the Phillies, going 114-90 with a 3.30 ERA while finishing in the top 10 in Cy Young voting four times. The Phillies won nine of Hamels' 13 starts in the postseason, as he went 7-4 with a 3.09 ERA in his postseason career with the franchise.

Simply put, Hamels is one of the greatest pitchers in Phillies history. He captivated a city with his poise and demeanor on the mound, an integral part of the Phillies winning a championship.

A champion of this city, Hamels believes this current group of Phillies -- tied for the best win percentage in baseball at .662 -- are next to have a parade down Broad Street.

"They have it," Hamels said. "In that clubhouse, you see the fun that they're having, the confidence they all have in each other. You see the similarities [to 2008], but they are their own team."

"When they go after something and they know they're ready, they get the right people, the right pieces. That's what Philly always does."

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