Ex-Atlanta Braves pitcher Hanson died of drug overdose

Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:04pm EST
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By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Cocaine and alcohol killed former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson last month, a Georgia coroner said on Friday, finding that an accidental overdose had caused the death of an athlete once considered one of baseball's most promising pitchers.

Hanson, 29, was discovered unresponsive at his suburban Atlanta home on Nov. 9. He lapsed into a coma, suffered organ failure and died later that night, according to authorities.

The six-foot, six-inch (1.98-metre) athlete, whose career was derailed by shoulder injuries, died from "delayed complications of cocaine and alcohol toxicity," Coweta County coroner Richard Hawk said.

The death was ruled an accident.

Hanson pitched four seasons with the Braves, finishing third in the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year balloting.

After suffering shoulder injuries, he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in 2012 and signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants this year.

(Editing by Letitia Stein and James Dalgleish)

Then-Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson throws in the first inning during their MLB National League baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia in this file photo dated  September 15, 2012.  REUTERS/Tami Chappell