Tommy Hanson has passed away at the age of 29 after slipping into a coma. He was a 22nd round pick by the Braves, and actually had the most efficient strikeout rate of any Braves pitcher (8.39 K/9), ever. Tommy also pitched the only solo no hitter in Mississippi Braves history in 2008. In his first 4 career wins in 2009, he had an ERA of 0.78, and Tommy had become a fan favorite. 2011 was his breakout year, at the All Star Break he had a 2.44 ERA, 10 wins, and struck out 14 Astros in a single game. He was named the opening day starter for the Braves in 2012, but after an injury plagued season, he was dealt to the Halos for Jordan Walden.
Hanson bounced around from team to team, and never had much success after leaving Atlanta. However, that never stopped his bright smile or “can-do” attitude. For that reason, Tommy was loved by the fans in Atlanta, and during his career with the Braves from 2009-2012 he was an excellent starter. Tommy was someone’s son, friend, and teammate. He was more than a ballplayer. He was kind to fans, and for that, Big Red was seen as a friend and still had a following in Atlanta; even after his struggles and leaving the team. The circumstances surrounding his death are unknown outside of major organ failure, but out of respect, I’m not going to make any speculations.
We lost a great Brave today, but more importantly, we lost a great person. Rest easy, big guy. We love you.