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Tommy Hanson, Former MLB Pitcher, Dies at 29

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2015

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Associated Press

Former Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tommy Hanson has died at the age of 29.

Mark Bowman of MLB.com passed along the tragic news Tuesday morning: "A Braves representative confirmed that some of Hanson's former teammates were near Hanson when he passed away at Atlanta's Piedmont Hospital late Monday night."

The Braves and Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons both tweeted out their condolences:

Atlanta Braves @Braves

RIP, Tommy https://t.co/SXUq1NNTyQ

Andrelton Simmons @Andrelton

Very sad to hear about Tommy Hanson. Wish his family and close friends a lot of strength. He was a really nice dude. :/

According to Zach Klein of WSB-TV in Atlanta, the pitcher suffered "catastrophic organ failure." Hanson had been in the hospital since Sunday, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Details on the potential reason for Hanson's death were released in a sheriff's office report on Tuesday, per Alexis Stevens of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 

The initial police report does not provide specifics about what Hanson may have overdosed on, but lists 'overdose' as the possible crime. The report does not include any additional details about why “overdose” was listed as a possible cause.

Hanson, 29, had not appeared in a major league game since 2013. The Braves once considered him a "staff ace-in-waiting," according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. However, shoulder problems and a decline in pitch velocity limited his productivity later in his career.

He went 21-15 with a solid 3.16 ERA for the Braves from 2009 to 2010 before injuries became an issue. Hanson was part of the San Francisco Giants' minor league system in 2015 and finished with a 4.76 ERA in 15 starts across two levels.

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