Hanson earned a September call-up to the Mariners after hurling a 5-0, seven-inning no-hitter for Triple-A Calgary against Las Vegas on August 21, 1988. Tagged as the Mariners' top pitching prospect, Hanson didn't allow an earned run in his major-league debut against Frank Viola and shut out Milwaukee five days later. Despite missing almost half of the next season on the DL, Hanson again proved his talents by going 9-5 with a 3.18 ERA -- the lowest for a Seattle starter that year.
Armed with a big curve, the 6'6" New Jersey native set a club record with 18 wins the following season, and spent five more years as a mainstay in the Seattle rotation before a November 1993 trade sent him to Cincinnati with Bret Boone for Bobby Ayala and catcher Dan Wilson. Hanson's fine sophomore campaign in 1990 proved to be his best, although he didn't earn an All-Star nod until a 15-5 season in 1995 -- his first and only season with the Red Sox.
Hanson tossed 214 2/3 innings after signing on with the Blue Jays in 1996, but a torn labrum in 1997 -- originally misdiagnosed as shoulder tendinitis -- led to surgery and effectively ended his career. (SFS/JGR)
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»July 24, 1991: In a game against the Mariners, the Yankees score three runs on a ground ball hit back to the pitcher. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out in the 4th, Pat Kelly hits a comebacker to Erik Hanson. The Seattle hurler traps Kevin Maas in a rundown between 3rd and home, but Maas scores when 3B Edgar Martinez's throw hits him in the back. The ball rolls up the 1st base line in foul territory where it is recovered by C Dave Cochrane. Cochrane throws home to head off Alvaro Espinoza who is also attempting to score. The throw goes into the Mariners' dugout allowing Espinoza and Kelly to cross the plate with the 2nd and 3rd runs.
»June 11, 1993: Seattle P Erik Hanson allows four runs on a single in the 4th inning of the Mariners' 8-2 loss to California. With the bases loaded, Greg Myers strokes a single to left. Left fielder Henry Cotto boots the ball, then throws over the head of C Bill Haselman as two runs score. Hanson, who is backing up home, fires a throw over 3B Edgar Martinez's head allowing two more runners to score.
»July 22, 1996: Toronto's Erik Hanson walks Cleveland's Jim Thome without throwing a 4th ball. With the count 2-2 the pitch is wide and Thome jogs to 1B. Ump Mike Everitt, a fill-in from the PCL, had incorrectly called the count 3–2 before the pitch, and Thome, who knew better, didn't correct him. The next batter Albert Belle hits a 3-run double for a 4-2 win.