When four pitchers combine to throw a no-hitter like a Philadelphia Phillies foursome did Monday, it's probably easier to give the final ball to someone else than decide which pitcher gets to keep it.
Starter Cole Hamels and relievers Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon threw the combined no-hitter, the first in MLB since 2012 when the Seattle Mariners did it. And the four of them knew just whom the final ball should go to.
Team president David Montgomery took a leave of absence from the Phillies on Thursday because of ongoing health issues. He had surgery in May to remove cancer from his jaw. Montgomery, 68, has been the Phils president since 1997, making him the perfect choice to get the last ball from the franchise's 12th no-hitter.
"That last ball, because it is so special, I think we are going to dedicate it to David Montgomery," Hamels said. "I think it's really nice to be able to give it to him because of the struggles of the organization and what David and his family have gone through. Hopefully this will be something special for this season and sum up what we've been trying to do and what he means to all of us. We can give it to somebody who is around and for the city of Philadelphia and fans to see and to cherish."
There's no timetable for Montgomery, 68, to return to the team. Only when he's "fully recovered." In the meantime, former GM Pat Gillick is handling Montgomery's duties.
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