Tommy Hanson, the former Atlanta Braves pitcher, has died at age 29, the team said on Tuesday.
According to CNN, Hanson was in a coma Monday due to catastrophic organ failure. Hanson had trouble breathing Sunday when he was rushed to an Atlanta hospital. Regardless, authorities in Atlanta didn’t state what caused the organ failure or his eventual death.
Nicknamed “Big Red” for his hair and beard, Hanson was once considered among baseball’s most promising young prospects until persistent shoulder injuries marred his career. “We are incredibly saddened to learn of Tommy’s tragic passing,” John Schuerholz, Braves President, said in a statement. “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,” added Schuerholz.
Many of Hanson’s former teammates and friends took to Twitter to pay their tributes (see below).
Hanson played for the Braves until 2012 before he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. After the 2013 MLB season, Hanson was non-tendered by the Angels, making him a free agent. Earlier this year, the 6-foot-6 right-hander signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants, in an attempt to make a comeback. “Tommy was a great talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the many people who were lucky enough to know him,” the Giants said in a statement issued Tuesday.
Hanson finished his career with a 49-35 record, 648 strikeouts and a 3.80 earned run average. In 2009, he finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, with an impressive 11 victories and a 2.89 ERA for the Braves.