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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Greg Hansell believed in himself over 15 pro seasons; Made bigs in four, also Japan

In his sixth professional season, Greg Hansell had made AAA, but not the majors. At Albuquerque with the Dodgers in early July 1994, Hansell told The Los Angeles Times he just tried to keep pitching well.

"I definitely feel confident with the way I've been pitching," Hansell told The Times then. "I talked to the brass here and they think I'm ready. But I've got to stay focused down here. Hopefully, when they need somebody they'll give me a call."

Hansell didn't get the call in that strike-shortened 1994. But he did the next year. He eventually saw time in four major league campaigns, each with a different organization.

Hansell's career began in 1989, taken by the Red Sox in the 10th round of the draft out of Kennedy High School in La Palma, Ca.

Hansell started in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He went 3-2, with a 2.53 ERA over 10 outings, eight starts. He moved to high-A Winter Haven for 1990. By early July, he was 6-7, with a 3.50 ERA on a team that together was losing, The Times wrote.

"You just have to keep believing in yourself," Hansell told The Times amid the team losses. "You learn something each time you go out there, no matter what happens, win or lose. It's hard, but that's what you have to do when things are going badly for the team."

Hansell made high-A Bakersfield with the Dodgers for 1991, then AA San Antonio and AAA Albuquerque for 1992. He then returned to Albuquerque for 1993 and 1994.

In April 1995, he made Los Angeles. He got into 20 games that year in relief. He went 0-1, with a 7.45 ERA.

He moved to the Twins the next year and saw 50 relief appearances. He won three and saved three, ending with a 5.69 ERA. He saw three games with the Brewers in 1997. He gave up five earned in 4.2 innings.

After going through the Royals and Athletics systems for 1998, Hansell joined the Pirates for 1999 and returned to the majors for 33 more relief outings. He went 1-3, with a 3.89 ERA.

That June, he spoke to The Minneapolis Star Tribune about being so well-traveled.

"I've been through just about everything but I still enjoy baseball. Through it all, I've never considered giving it up," Hansell told The Star Tribune. "I love baseball. I'll keep playing it until I can't play no more."

That season marked his last in the majors, but he did keep playing, for five more seasons. He played three of those in Japan, with Hanshin, then his final two, 2003 and 2004, in the minors with the Yankees and Diamondbacks.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,903
Made the Majors:1,301-33.3%-X
Never Made Majors:2,602-66.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:528
10+ Seasons in the Minors:325

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