Switch-Hitting Philanthropy: This MLB Pitcher Now Funding Education in Texas

Last summer, we touched on the philanthropic endeavors of a Major League Baseball pitcher who was partial to the city of Philadelphia. Through the Hamels Foundation, Cole Hamel and his wife, Heidi, made substantial commitments to low-income and inner-city schools in Philadelphia for about seven years.

Related: Batter Up: MLB Pitcher Takes Swing at Philadelphia Schools

It seems that the Hamels Foundation’s largesse is now being shared with another city, since Cole started playing for the Texas Rangers. Recently, the baseball couple committed over $35,000 to improving education in Dallas.

Here’s how the latest local Dallas grant cycle played out:

  • Counseling corner at Adelfa Botello Callejo Elementary ($5,000)
  • Physical education equipment and supplies at Winnetka Elementary ($5,500)
  • Educational classrooms at the all-new MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street- a partnership with the Texas Rangers ($25,000)

The Hamels haven’t been in Dallas for very long, but they didn’t waste any time diving into the local philanthropy scene. Cole Hamels made lots of young students' dreams come true while visiting the schools to present grant checks with a big smile and saying, "You get to see what the kids are feeling,” and "We really hope this will allow a lot of students to reach out and achieve their dreams."

However, you may recall from our previous coverage that the foundation's executive director, Kelly Anderson, said,

We are going to support Philadelphia area schools into the foreseeable future, regardless of where Cole Hamels plays. That commitment doesn’t change—Cole and Heidi are adamant about that. His trade to Texas gives us another opportunity to bring a new community into the fold. We will have to meet with administrators and the school board there to see where we can expand our programs and projects in Texas and make an impact for even more children.

So while Philadelphia groups might feel slighted to see this new education money going to Dallas, there’s definitely still hope that they've not been forgotten. The couple established a private foundation in 2008 and gave over $1 million to support Philadelphia schools over seven years.

"Heidi and I have always tried to focus on being the best we can be with this stuff because you don't have a lot of opportunities to do it and it's not going to last forever. It will eventually be over and we don't want to regret anything," Hamels once told the Philadelphia Daily News.

And for now, the Hamels' education grants are expected to fund construction, educational supplies, provisions, and scholarship opportunities for continuing education of students. According to the foundation’s FAQ page, it is currently accepting applications for its annual Partners in Education Awards for both the Springfield, Missouri and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania areas and surrounding communities. There’s no indication that Dallas will be part of this K-12 effort, but the grant guidelines are a good place to start to learn more.

To keep up with what this charitable couple is doing, follow @ColeHamels & @TheHamels on Twitter. Sports Day also published an article called “10 things you might not know about ace Cole Hamels, including his celebrity wife” that’s a fun read if you’re into sports philanthropy as much as we are.