Erik Hanson, 1989 Baseball Cards Magazine
Here is another baseball card that I did a terrible job of cutting out of Baseball Cards Magazine, which is a thing I used to subscribe to, I guess. Pictured here is ROOKIE STAR OF 1989, Erik Hanson, who looks as though he just -- like the second this picture was snapped -- experienced every phase of puberty all at once.
But if you think the front of this card is awesome, which it most certainly is not, let us then go all the way to the back.
We see here that Hanson's "home" is in Washington, but according to Wiki he grew up in my home state of New Jersey and attended Peddie High School. Now, I went to an all-boys Catholic high school in NJ and even I viewed Peddie as elitist. For example, it's not even referred to as, like I just did, Peddie High School, but only Peddie School. Barf. Stories about Peddie athletes were like folklore: "I heard Peddie got this new soccer player from Cambodia who is UNBELIEVABLE and whose dad is Pele." Sometimes we would play Peddie in a stupid sport like lacrosse or something, and they would arrive in a tricked-out, luxury charter bus with their school logo, and they'd walk out, kick our asses at lacrosse, and then leave. Also, they had girls there. Anyway, screw Peddie, is all I'm saying.
A dominant college pitcher who was passed over in the first round of the draft due to a nagging knee injury,
I'm not saying this statement is outright implying such, but I'm consistently offended by the implication that certain athletes with major question marks were not justified in being "passed over" in the draft. Whenever that athlete experiences a little success at the pro level, we're made to think organizations were dumb to pass them over. You didn't draft Erik Hanson in the first round because he had a nagging knee injury? I'm not hating on that. You passed on Gronk because his back was about to fall off? That's cool. You let Randy Moss slide because he's batsh*t crazy? All of this is okay with me, and I don't think we should be convinced otherwise.
Hanson arrived in a big way with the Mariners
Posting a sub-1 WHIP with a 3-to-1 K/BB ratio in his first three starts?
winning two of his first five major-league starts
Wow, that IS a big way. I'm sold! Could you imagine if he won three of five starts THAT WOULD BE INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hanson credits an attitude change in Double-A Chattanooga for his success, which resulted in a 12-7 record at Calgary last year.
Erik Hanson: This bus is dirty! I can't be ready to pitch under these conditions? Where is a payphone, I must call mother ...
Scooter Geetz, Manager, Chattanooga Chihuahas: Now listen here, young'n. Ain't too sure where ya'lls grew up and what ya'll there accustomed to, but 'round these here parts we don't have nuttin' handed to us. Hard work is all, scrappin' and puttin yer nose to the grind stone and what not. Now I here reckon if you don't get yer head on straight and go pitch out there like ya' mean it, it's gonna be a loooong season.
Erik Hanson: Thinks ... You're right. I am going to adjust my attitude starting right now. Hey you, black person -- give me a high five or whatever you call it!
Exciting montage of Hanson going 12-7, at end holds up award for "Best 12-7 Season, Calgary."
Still the question remains, what was Erik Hanson's most famous pitch?
Wikipedia notes that he was known for possessing an excellent curveball. The difference between a screwball and a curveball is that only the screwball can be represented through the profound cartoon imagery of throwing an absurdly large screw, which is illegal and which also would be impossible to throw for a strike or even near the plate. I know that because I've tried. I have a lot of screws in my garage and I don't what they are for.