In 2009, Tommy Hanson arrived as one of the newest pitchers to watch in the National League as a member of the Atlanta Braves when he went 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA. He had finally made it to The Show after being a 22nd-round draft pick four years earlier.
The Braves announced on Tuesday that Hanson had died late Monday night after suffering “catastrophic organ failure” and lapsing into a coma. He was just 29.
Hanson appears on more than 1,000 baseball cards reflecting his five seasons as a big-leaguer and eight seasons in the minors. He spent this past season mostly with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats awaiting a potential call from the San Francisco Giants after last playing in the majors as a member of the Los Angeles Angels in 2013. He finished his MLB career with a 49-35 record.
Hanson appears on 17 Rookie Cards released in 2009 — seven of those featuring a certified autograph. His first minor league card can be found in the 2006 Danville Braves set made by Grandstand, while his first Bowman cards from Topps arrived a year later.
One of Hanson’s teammates in that 2006 set was Kris Medlen, who shared his thoughts with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Anyone who knows me knows how much Thomas J. Hanson Jr. meant to me,” Medlen said. “I also feel bad for anyone who didn’t get a chance to know the man. He was the kindest, most loyal person I’ve ever met. He loved his family more than anything in the world, and his friends felt like family when around them. He was not ‘like’ a brother to me, he was my brother and I’m going to miss him so much.”
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