Before I begin this blog entry, let me just say, the three home run performance by Mike Lowell on Tuesday night in Toledo is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in baseball. I don’t care what level you are at, simply awesome. In his 4 game rehab stint so far, the 2007 World Series MVP has three homers and three doubles and is hitting a white hot .471 for Pawtucket. He carries himself with dignity and class and I hope he gets whatever he wants.
Now with Lowell at third base on Tuesday, it left the newest member of the PawSox on the bench. Jack Hannahan, the third baseman, who went to high school in Minnesota with Joe Mauer, came to the PawSox from Seattle on July 23 for cash or a player to be named later. Hannahan, who was hitting .228 with 5 hr and 33 rbi in Tacoma was excited by the prospect of a fresh start with the Red Sox. “It was great. The Red Sox organization speaks for itself. Any time you get a chance to contribute and maybe get called up by the Red Sox, it’s awesome.” Hannahan was unfazed, starting with a new club in late July. “Anytime you’ve been anround this long, a new team isn’t that big of a thing. It’s a great group of guys here. It’s been an easy transition.”
So far, Hannahan is 3-10 with three walks for Pawtucket. He regards himself an every day player, but didn’t mind sitting to watch Mike Lowell perform on Tuesday. “The reason you play this game is to get into the lineup every day and contribute. Today I get to watch a Gold Glover and a 14 year vet play third base.”
Hannahan is making a return to the city where he helped the Mud Hens win a pair of I.L. championships. Toledo won the Governors’ Cup in 2005 and 2006 and Jack was a key cog. “It’s weird going into a different clubhouse and dugout. We had good seasons in ’05 and ’06 winning this league.” Hannahan still savors the championships. “The team chemistry we had in ’05 and ’06, the celebrations we had. It was always fun showing up to the ballpark, winning and doing those little things tht help you win one run ballgames.”
Hannahan treasures the memories of winning minor league titles, but his big league memories supercede anything else. “Getting called up. Coming up in the Tigers organization. Getting traded over to Oakland. My first Major League hit was special. Those are things I’ll always remember.”
Jack played in the I.L.with Toledo from 2005-2007. He says he looks forward to returning to McCoy as a member of the home team. “Great stadium, great fans. It’s a fun atmosphere and I look forward it.” Hanahan’s brother Buzz was a player in the Phillies organization for 9 years. Jack says his brother retired from baseball and is in medical sales. “He walks around the hospital in scrubs with a pager.” Jack joked “He thinks he’s a doctor,”
The 30 year old infielder recently got married. He says he was never one of those “I’ll never get married” types. “I’ve always wanted to get married and have a bunch of kids running around. I tried to wait as long as I could, being a baseball player. Travelling around, it’s real hard on a family. You don’t get to see them a lot, so I waited. I dated Jenny for about three and a half. years. I waited for “Mrs. Right” and I married her.”
A trip to Toledo isn’t complete without a pilgrimage to Tony Packos’ for their Hungarian hot dogs. Packos’ was made famous on “M*A*S*H*” by Maxwell Q. Klinger, the cross-dressing corporal, brilliantly portrayed for the entire run of the series by Toledo native Jamie Farr. I had the honor of interviewing Farr several years ago when we were in his home town. The feast is always great and today was no exception. Now I know why Max was so eager to get home from the 4077th.