Phillies pitchers give ball from combined no-hitter to ailing team president

Mike Oz

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. 

Philadelphia Phillies pitchers Ken Giles, Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon and Jake Diekman. (USA Today)
Philadelphia Phillies pitchers Ken Giles, Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon and Jake Diekman. (USA Today)

This hasn't been the best season for the team or its president, but at least it produced one memento. Hamels told reporters after the game, per Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News:

"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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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!