By Keith Russell

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – When Cole Hamels was traded to the Texas Rangers, they were assured that one of the best clutch pitchers in Major League Baseball was headed their way. Hamels was the 2008 World Series MVP. Going into his start on Friday in Game 2 of the ALDS in Toronto, the Rangers have won the last 10 games in which he has taken the mound.

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But it’s what Cole and his wife, Heidi, have done through their foundation that is more important than any pitch he will ever throw.

With Cole’s father having been a school superintendent, and Heidi having been a middle school teacher, helping youngsters get a quality education has been their mission. They have built a $2.5 million school in Malawi, Africa — an area that has been severely stricken with HIV/AIDS.

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Speaking with Heidi via FaceTime, she said, “If we can get in there, or people like us can get in there, and start educating the people of Malawi, gosh, what a difference it has already made.”

In addition, The Hamels Foundation has also given generously to schools in the Philadelphia area, and they are anxious to do the same in DFW. All that is needed to be a recipient of their charity is to complete a two-page application on the foundation’s website.

The Hamels have three children, including one who they adopted from Ethiopia. In the words of Heidi, “It’s important that, whatever you preach, you better practice. And people don’t understand. Throwing that one tiny, little pebble into the water has that huge ripple effect.”

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Now, you understand why Cole Hamels’ impact will be felt way beyond the Rangers postseason run.