Lakewood to honor Cole Hamels for terrifying 2003 season

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Guzzle a pitcher of beer, do a puzzle, decide it's impossible and go watch Hamels' jersey get retired by the Phillies High A affiliate.

Cole Hamels pounded the South Atlantic League in 2003.

"Help us, please stop!" cried the SAL.

"NO," Hamels, a teenage member of the Lakewood BlueClaws, thundered, and didn't let anybody score any runs.

He finished the season with an era of 0.84, only allowing seven earned runs, 32 hits, and 25 walks, but striking out 115 batters who remained grateful that he allowed them to live. Finally, in an unraveling of one of baseball's biggest oversights, the BlueClaws are retiring his #19 jersey from that epic season.

It will all go down on June 19, when he will be the second player (and first pitcher) ever to have his number hung on the walls of FirstEnergy Stadium, a facility that embraces the South Jersey custom of jamming two words together without a space, but still capitalizing the second word so it looks sleek and modern. Ryan Howard was the first, in 2010, when he was in Lakewood to finish regenerating some body parts and his #29 was retired.

"Is that all?" you mutter to yourself at work as your boss walks brusquely by and you quickly minimize this screen to show your spreadsheets.

NO that is NOT all, you undependable white collar cliche.

On May 19, fans will receive a Cole Hamels puzzle to leave on their coffee tables for the grandkids to play with, until one of them start putting the pieces in their mouth and that's the last time we're coming over here until you quit it with the puzzles, mom/

On June 2, fans will receive a Cole Hamels "pitcher pitcher," which is a plastic pitcher with the face of baseball pitcher Cole Hamels on it. Make your wait in line at the keg all the cooler with Cole Hamels' face in your hands.

This is all leading up to the June 19 jersey retirement, which I assume means the BlueClaws are predicting Hamels will be hurt and rehabbing by then. It's a bold plan, pretty morbid, but

Oh shit here comes the boss just be cool.

SPREAD SHEET.

You're welcome.

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