BASEBALL: Former REV, RCC standout Hanson dies – Press-Enterprise
Tommy Hanson, a former Redlands East Valley High School and Riverside City College baseball standout who went on to pitch in the major leagues, died Monday night in Atlanta after falling into a coma. He was 29 years old.
Hanson, who pitched five seasons in the majors, reportedly fell into a coma due to multiple organ failure and was hospitalized Sunday, according to RCC baseball coach Dennis Rogers. The first reports of his death came shortly after 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Monday, and were confirmed by Rogers and REV baseball coach James Cordes.
“It’s so incredibly sad,” Rogers said in a text message. “He deserved a second chance at life.”
Zach Klein of WSB-TV in Atlanta first reported Hanson’s hospitalization and organ failure.
Hanson was the first player from REV to reach the major leagues, and his No. 26 is retired by the school.
“Tommy was a pioneer as the first player from REV to make it to the majors…but he was much more than that,” Cordes said in a statement. “He was a compassionate, humble man. He gave back to the program in so many ways and was never more than a phone call away for all of his high school hometown friends, teammates and coaches. Among the many great traits he portrayed on a daily basis, it was his modesty and soft-spoken nature that will be missed the most. We will never forget our No. 26.”
The Atlanta Braves drafted Hanson out of RCC in the 22nd round of the 2005 MLB Draft, and he quickly blossomed into one of baseball’s top young pitchers. Baseball America ranked Hanson the game’s No. 4 prospect before the 2009 season, and he went 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA that year and finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting.
Hanson pitched three more seasons for the Braves before he was traded to the Angels prior to the 2013 season in exchange for All-Star closer Jordan Walden. Hanson struggled with injuries and pitched in only 15 games that year, going 4-3 with a 5.42 ERA. He never pitched in the majors again.
Hanson spent the past two seasons in the minors, playing in 2014 in the Chicago White Sox system and last season in the San Francisco Giants organization.
He went 49-35 with a 3.80 ERA in 123 games, 121 starts, in his major league career.
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