While Hamels was pitching, Coppenbarger had followed instructions and kept the information to himself. Luckily, it wasn't for too long.
"The next inning, we pinch-hit for him," Coppenbarger said after the game. "I went over and mentioned it to [pitching coach] Rich Dubee first. He said, 'Just go ahead and tell him right now.' "
What did Hamels say in the dugout? "He was sort of numb," Coppenbarger said. "He was watching the game. I went up to him. I said: 'We got word. Your wife's in labor. She's in the hospital. I'm supposed to tell you right now.' He darted upstairs."
Coppenbarger said that while "Cole was scurrying around" the clubhouse, he called and got Hamels' luggage off the team plane. "By the time Cole got out of the shower, the car was down here in the tunnel so we could get him out of here right away," Coppenbarger said.
Hamels, the first of seven Phillies pitchers in yesterday's 5-4 loss, had allowed four runs in five innings. The Phillies were down by 4-0 when manager Charlie Manuel decided to pinch-hit Greg Dobbs for him, in the bottom of the fifth.
At the time, Manuel wasn't thinking about the impending birth of Hamels' child, but afterward, Manuel said: "I know he was concerned about his wife, and probably the child, too. That's an exciting time, and that's a time that you really look forward to. I know it probably would have been on his mind."
The Inquirer reported in June that Hamels and his wife were expecting a son, their first child. They also intend to adopt a child from Ethiopia next year.
"We still plan on adopting," Hamels said in June. The pregnancy "is something we were planning on doing anyway. We're going to adopt a girl, and it will be great for her to grow up with a brother. They'll be like twins."
As he spotted the text message, Coppenbarger also saw that he had a couple of missed calls and a voice message from the mother of Hamels' wife, saying essentially the same thing.
In the Phillies' clubhouse after the game, all the players weren't aware of what was going on with Hamels.
"Dude, I had no idea," catcher Paul Bako said. "I didn't know."
After the game, Coppenbarger said he hadn't yet returned the text message of Hamels' spouse.
"I didn't want to bother his wife," Coppenbarger said. "It seemed like she was kind of busy."
Contact staff writer Mike Jensen at 215-854-4489 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writers Andy Martino and Michael Klein contributed to this story.