Saturday, October 4, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #150 ERIK HANSON

WON 18 GAMES IN '90; LOST 17 IN '92.



HAD THE SIZE FOR BASKETBALL BUT THE ARM FOR THE MAJORS.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Erik Hanson figured his sport would be basketball. At 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, he was planning to play at an ACC school. But that was before he began throwing 93-94 mph his senior season of high school in New Jersey and attracting several scouts. Even so, he didn't sign with the Expos, who drafted him in the seventh round in 1983, and went to play at Wake Forest. Hanson eventually was drafted again, this time by the Mariners in '86, and he signed and became part of Seattle's Young Guns rotation that featured #154 Randy Johnson. Hanson pitched 11 years, six with the Mariners, compiling an 89-84 record, 4.15 ERA and an ERA+ of 105.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • On Aug. 1, 1990, Hanson and the Athletics' Dave Stewart matched up in one of the season's best duels. Hanson pitched 10 innings of two-hit ball, striking out 11. Stewart was just a little bit better, going all 11 innings in a 1-0 victory. Hanson threw 122 pitches and Stewart 129. 

DEFINING SEASON

  • Hanson won a career-high 18 games in '90, striking out 211 batters in 236 innings. He finished with a 3.24 ERA and a 121 ERA+.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Entering his junior season for the Wake Forest baseball team, Hanson was considered a sure-bet first-round selection but a knee injury caused him to miss most of the season and he fell to the second round, 36th overall.
  2. Hanson turned down a $100,000 bonus from the Expos after high school; he was offered $110,000 by the Mariners while in college.
  3. After signing as a free agent with the Red Sox in '95, Hanson had his first and only All-Star season, winning 15 games.
  4. Started Game 2 of the ALDS in '95 against the Indians, going the distance in a 4-0 loss.
  5. Led the AL in losses with 17 in '92.

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