Former Rangers' Pitcher Tommy Hanson Dies at 29

Every once in a while we’re reminded at how little decisions make big impacts. This morning is one of those days.

When I heard the news that Major League pitcher Tommy Hanson had died unexpectedly at 29, it made me remember that he was a Ranger. Well, almost.

Hanson, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, died Monday night of “catastrophic organ failure” after being hospitalized Sunday with difficulty breathing.

A 6-foot-6 redhead with enough life in his arm to throw a 14-strikeout no-hitter in the minors, Hanson was in the mix for a spot in the Rangers’ rotation in 2014 spring training. But ultimately he was released and the team picked Tanner Scheppers from the bullpen to be a starter. Instead of Hanson, Scheppers made four hideous starts with an ERA of 9.00. Out of the bullpen in 2013, Scheppers went 6-2 with a 1.88 ERA

Hanson, meanwhile, didn’t catch on with another team, spending the last two seasons bouncing around minor-league systems. He was third in the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year voting and in 2011 he went 10-4 with a 2.44 ERA in the first half of the season for the Braves.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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