Cole Hamels returned Wednesday night to Citizens Bank Park, stepped for the first time in four years on the mound where he forged his career, and paid tribute to a man he credits for helping him see the impact he can make away from the ballpark.

Hamels had a “DPM” patch - the same one the Phillies are wearing this season to honor the memory of former team president David Montgomery - onto the right sleeve of his Cubs’ uniform. He asked the team for a patch earlier this season and received one from a team official when the Phillies visited Wrigley Field.

The tribute could come with a fine as Hamels did not seek approval from the league to wear the patch. He said he does not care.

“I’ll take the fine. I really don’t care," Hamels said. "David meant a lot to me and my wife.”

“It’s important. I’m thankful that I get to play the game of baseball, but what he has taught me has made me more of a better person and a man because I got to grow up there,” Hamels said earlier this season. “The lessons that I learned and the maturity I gained had a lot to do with him.”

Cole Hamels of the Cubs stands in the dugout after being removed from the game in the 3rd inning against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 14, 2019.
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Cole Hamels of the Cubs stands in the dugout after being removed from the game in the 3rd inning against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 14, 2019.

Hamels struggled on Wednesday night as he allowed eight runs in two innings. He was lifted without recording an out in the third inning. It was his shortest start at Citizens Bank Park since July 4, 2006.

Hamels said earlier this season that he would display the patch at his locker at Wrigley Field, serving as a reminder of Montgomery whenever Hamels was in the clubhouse. He said then that he wished he had the chance to wear it. Wednesday night, he did.

“David kind of introduced me to the power of a platform besides baseball and what it meant to play baseball in the city of Philadelphia and really kind of embrace being somebody living in the community and just kind of understanding that the game of baseball is amazing but there’s a lot more to life,” Hamels said. “He really was instrumental in making that an impact on me and my life. I think it’s just important to know who he was and I acknowledge it in a way I think I can, and it’s something I’ll always have and always cherish.”