Welcome Mr. Hanson
I’m not sure how Tom Glavine and John Smoltz passed the time leading up to their Major League debuts, but it’s quite obvious that they weren’t provided the technological luxuries that Tommy Hanson utlized to calm his nerves heading into this afternoon’s game.
As he played solitaire on his iPod or iPhone, Hanson didn’t seem fazed about the fact that he was about to experience a debut that had been hyped more than the ones that Glavine and Smoltz experienced at the start of their illustrious careers.
“Those guys weren’t as heralded,” Cox said. “Noboby really knew John (Smoltz) because we had traded for him and then he came through our system. Everybody knows Tommy (Hanson) because of Spring Training.”
Actually before Hanson impressed during his first big league camp this year, he was well known throughout the baseball world. After his 0.69 ERA allowed him to become the first pitcher named the Arizona Fall League MVP, the big right-hander became as heralded as any of the game’s pitching prospects.
There’s no doubt that Hanson will battle some of the same nerves that his close friend and roommate Kris Medlen encountered during his May 21 Major League debut.
But at the same time, he’s confident that he won’t experience the same kind of meltdown that led Medlen to throw find the strike zone with just three of his 18 third-inning pitches.
When asked if he’d provided Hanson any advice, Medlen said, “what do you mean, like how not to (stink) during your debut?”
When Glavine debuted on Aug. 17, 1987, he allowed six earned runs and lasted just 3 2/3 innings against the Astros.
While introducing himself to the Majors on July 23, 1988, Smoltz limited the Mets to one run over eight innings.
The likes of Chuck James, James Parr and Kyle Davies have provided the reminder that a career path isn’t determined during the debut or first few starts of a pitchers career.
But it would certainly be nice to see Hanson experience a good start to a career that the fans of Atlanta would like to enjoy for many years to come.