Monday, September 11, 2017

Jim Hannan (#479)

Jim Hannan had a surprisingly long (to me) career, pitching 9 seasons for the Senators from 1962-70, then his final 1971 season split between the Tigers and Brewers. I first became aware of him when I got his 1967 card that year, and always forgetting if his last name was "Hannan" or "Hannah".

Jim was signed by the Red Sox prior to the 1961 season, and after 1 year was lost to the Senators in the minor-league draft. (Sounds a lot like the Glenn Beckert story!)

He made his big-league debut with the Sens in April 1962.  Although spending much of May in the minors, he pitched in 42 games (all but 3 in relief) for Washington during his rookie season.

Hannan started the 1963 season with the Nats, but after 5 relief appearances, he was sent down in early-May, only returning in September.

This MLB/AAA yo-yo ride continued for most of Hannan's career. After playing the entire '64 season with the Senators (49 games, 7 starts), he spent most of 1965 in triple-A, making 30 starts for Hawaii and only 5 games (1 start) for the Senators.

1966? Jim played for the Senators the entire season, splitting his time between the rotation and the bullpen. 1967 was a repeat of his 1965 season – mostly pitching for triple-A Hawaii. (Hey, if you have to be in the minors, that's the place to be!)

The 1968 season was the reverse of '67. Hannan started the season with 7 starts in AAA (this time in cold Buffalo, not sunny Hawaii), then in late-May was recalled to Washington (for good, as it turned out). Jim started 22 games for the Nats and relieved in 3 others.

He was now a regular member of the rotation for the '68 and '69 seasons. (I don’t know if he improved, or the staff in general slipped. He DID have his highest strikeout totals in those 2 years, as well as some of his lowest ERA numbers.)

With the Senators' acquisition of George Brunet prior to the 1970 season, Hannan spent most of that year in the bullpen, only starting 17 of his 42 games (most of them in July and August). He was the #2 man behind closer Darold Knowles.

After the 1970 season, Hannan was traded to the Tigers (with pitcher Joe Coleman, shortstop Ed Brinkman, and 3rd baseman Aurelio Rodriguez) for pitchers Denny McLain and Norm McRae, 3rd baseman Don Wert, and outfielder Elliott Maddox. (This deal seems like a bust for the Senators!)

Jim only lasted 5 weeks with Detroit. After only 7 games (11 innings) he was flipped to the Brewers in mid-May for pitcher John Gelnar and outfielder Jose Herrera. Hannan compiled a 1-1 record in 21 games over the rest of the season, then was released on December 31st. (Happy New Year!)