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Monday, March 20, 2023

Chris Hanks signed to learn, played 4 seasons, turned coach

Chris Hanks 1990 Lynchburg Red Sox card, Hanks posed in catching position

Drafted by the Red Sox in the previous year's draft, College of Southern Idaho hitter Chris Hanks made the choice to turn pro at season's end, instead of remain in college, The Twin Falls Times-News wrote.

"I talked to several men around here whose baseball knowledge I respect and they basically told me that I would gain more baseball education playing one summer in professional ball than I would two years in NCAA baseball," Hanks explained to The Times-News.

Hanks went on from there to see time in four pro seasons. He topped out at high-A. Hanks, however, would go on to stay in the game, working to relay the knowledge he gained to college players himself.

Hanks' career began that year in 1988, taken by the Red Sox in the 28th round of the 1987 draft out of Southern Idaho.

Hanks started with the Red Sox at short-season Elmira. The catcher saw 40 games and hit .200. 

He returned to Elmira for 52 games in 1989 and saw 13 more at single-A Winter Haven. He hit .217 between them. Hanks then saw 56 games at high-A Lynchburg for 1990, hitting .286. 

Going into 1991, he spoke with The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel about his hopes and prospects.

"I've always been goal oriented in everything I do and I figure if my goal isn't to make it to the big leagues, then why am I playing?" Hanks told The Daily Sentinel. "If I don't make it, it won't be the end of the world, I'll apply my time and effort to something else. But I want to find out if I can do it."

Hanks' season that year consisted of two games at high-A Winter Haven. Those two games were the last of his career.

Hanks soon signed on with Colorado Mesa University as an assistant baseball coach. In 1999, he took the head coaching job. He won his 900th game as head coach in February 2021.

"Coaching is a battle of wills, and it's a battle that that the coach cannot lose," Hanks told The Post Independent in Colorado of coaching in 2014. "There has to be a standard, and players have to be held to that standard. You've got to make your word gold, and, if you do all of those things, you earn their trust. You've got to tell these kids what they need to hear, even if it's brutal honesty."

Chris Hanks 1990 Lynchburg Red Sox card, Hanks posed in catching position

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,143
Made the Majors:1,369-33.0%
Never Made Majors:2,774-67.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:557
10+ Seasons in the Minors:337

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