Cole Hamels’ mother signed him to a $1, lifetime contract with the Padres when he was an infant
Padres fans are accustomed to being robbed of their best players. The teams lack of financial stability results in superstars like Adrian Gonzalez leaving town as soon as they reach the primes of their career and are ready for their monster contract. Not having enough money to sign players is painful enough, let alone having other superstars who don’t honor their contracts with the team. That is what has happened with Cole Hamels and the Padres.
If Hamels was a man of his word, he would be a Padre for life at a very affordable price. As Gaslamp Ball pointed out, Hamels was signed to a $1, lifetime deal with the Padres when he was one month old in 1983. At the time, his mother worked for the Padres and was friends with then-GM Andy Strasberg. She thought it would be fun to show Cole the contract when he was a kid and that it would provide motivation for him. Apparently it worked.
Unfortunately for the Padres, the contract was voided somewhere along the line. What could have been the most team-friendly deal in sports history turned out to be a whole lot of nothing, and Hamels has been bringing joy to the fans of Philadelphia rather than San Diego for the past seven years. He’s also in line to receive a contract after this season worth about $100 million more than the one he signed with the Padres nearly 30 years ago. I guess baseball truly is a business.
H/T Big League Stew