At ABD we are just shocked and deeply crushed by the news of Tommy's passing. Our thoughts and feelings are with you.
Tommy Hanson, the hard-throwing right-hander whose major league career was sidetracked by injury and personal loss, died Monday night after slipping into a coma in Atlanta, the Braves announced.
Hanson, 29, suffered "catastrophic organ failure" on Monday, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta, and had been hospitalized since early Sunday morning.
Hanson, a 6-6, 220-pounder known for his amiable personality, last pitched in the major leagues in 2013 with the Los Angeles Angels. He spent nearly a month away from the club that year as he coped with the sudden death of his stepbrother.
He finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2009, when he won 11 games and posted a 2.89 earned-run average for the Atlanta Braves.
"We are incredibly saddened to learn of Tommy's tragic passing," said Braves president John Schuerholz in a statement released by the club. "He was a favorite in the clubhouse and with our staff and he will truly be missed by everyone in Braves Country.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, family, former teammates and friends."
Shoulder discomfort bothered him as recently as 2010, and limited him to just 22 starts in 2011.
While Hanson made 31 starts and won 13 games for the Braves in 2012, they traded him to the Los Angeles Angels that off-season for reliever Jordan Walden. When his stepbrother passed away that spring, Hanson took six days off from the team, made one start, and then realized he needed more time away to mourn.
He returned to the Angels three weeks later.
"I was having mental issues with the death of my younger brother,” Hanson, then 26, told reporters then. "I was just trying to get through it. I didn’t know how to handle it.
"That was the first time anything like that had ever happened to me. I didn’t know how to cope with it.”
He made 13 starts for the Angels in 2013, and made his final major league appearance, a relief outing, on Sept. 28.
Hanson signed with the Texas Rangers in February 2014 only to be released a month later. In another attempt at a comeback, he signed with the Chicago White Sox in April 2014 and spent the season in the minors before an injury cut his season short. He was granted his free agency after the season.
In May, Hanson signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants and appeared for their Class A and AAA teams in San Jose and San Francisco.
In five major league seasons, four with the Braves, Hanson went 49-35 with a 3.80 ERA.
Contributing: Bob Nightengale