Devern Hansack – 2007 Topps

January 19, 2011

Would You Rather Be A Joe Smith Or A Devern Hansack?

I’ve been suffering with the epizutical crud recently, and today I sound like Brenda Vaccarro after a carton of Lucky Strikes. I’m on pins and needles, the house is a mess and my cards need attention thanks to the haul I just received yesterday.

And the kids are due back any time from school.

But I had a smashing bowl or three of cream of chicken soup (I find it more soothing than chicken noodle), I watched the Onion Sportsdome (the segment with the girlfriends of the anchors was hilarious), Tosh.O and now have the live version of “Must Of Got Lost” by the J. Geils Band on the iPod.

So now I turn my attention here, to Mr. Hansack. And unfortunately named fellow, at least in these United States. In Nicaragua, Devern Hansack could be as common as Thomas Brown or some name like that.

Hansack earned a base card (not even an update, but a base card) in 2007 thanks mainly to his fame in no-hitting the Orioles on the last day of the season. Well, it wasn’t an official no-no in the eyes of MLB since he went just five innings before the game was called. Hansack faced professional tomato can Hayden Penn (9.51 career ERA in 82 1/3 innings) and was leading 9-0 when rain and boredom kicked in.

How bad was it for Baltimore? Russ Ortiz pitched an inning. Yes, Russ Ortiz. Ortiz is still on his “bang the bum slowly” tour of the majors and minors, but I thought he was done after 2006. OK, he was done in 2005, but he didn’t know it.

Two of the corner spots for Baltimore were manned by Chris Gomez (1B) and David Newhan (RF). Fernando Tatis was the only Oriole to reach base on a walk. And I have a sneaking suspicion that even if Dave Roberts, Melvin Mora and Miguel Tejada are games and professionals, I don’t think they were gung ho about playing the last game of the year in the rain and wet and cold.

But Hansack pitched well and got the win. It was nice that the game was official.

As for the rest of his career, he spent time in the bigs in 2007 and 2008, but it was either September or emergency call-ups. He was hurt in 2009 and that’s it.

Hansack’s issue was simple – he was in the wrong organization. He was older (28 when he first made the bigs) and the Red Sox were fighting for pennants and had depth. If Devern was pitching for the Orioles or A’s or Mariners, he probably could have gotten a lot longer look in the bigs. But the Red Sox aren’t the Red Sox because they have money – they know to stockpile guys like this that they can call up at a moment’s notice if they need an emergency start.

You won’t forget his name anytime soon, that’s for sure.


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