Sunday, September 11, 2016

Ron Hansen (#566)

Ron Hansen was the White Sox’ starting shortstop from 1963 to 1967. After spending the first 4 months of 1968 with the Senators, he returned to the Pale Hose in August, this time as a utility infielder. 
(I was intending to post his 1966 card instead, but this photo was more interesting, though the card depicts him as a utility player.)

Hansen was signed by the Orioles in 1956. He played in the minors from 1956-59 (missing the ‘57 season because of sciatica).

Ron took over the Orioles’ starting shortstop job on Opening Day 1960, starting 149 games and winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. He also made his only All-Star team that season. He was Baltimore’s starting shortstop the following season also, but missed much of the 1962 season while in military service.

In January 1963, Hansen was traded to the White Sox (along with pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm, 3rd baseman Pete Ward, and outfielder Dave Nicholson) for shortstop Luis Aparicio and outfielder Al Smith. Hansen replaced Aparicio in the Sox’ lineup, manning the SS position from 1963 to 1967 (although he missed all but the first 4 weeks of the 1966 season due to back surgery).

The White Sox re-acquired Aparicio from the Orioles after the 1967 season, so Hansen was dealt to the Washington Senators in February 1968 (with pitchers Dennis Higgins and Steve Jones) for pitchers Bob Priddy and Buster Narum, and infielder Tim Cullen.

After starting 77 of the first 101 games for the Nats, Ron was returned to the White Sox in exchange for Cullen. The trade occurred just TWO WEEKS after Hansen pulled off the first unassisted triple play in 41 years! (Thanks for nuttin’)

With Aparicio still on board, Hansen was relegated to utility infielder status with the Sox for the remainder of 1968 and all of 1969, occasional starting games at 2nd base or 3rd base.

Ron was sold to the Yankees in February 1970, and was a role player with them for 2 seasons, getting his release in February 1972. He caught on with the Royals in early April, but was released in late-June, having only played in 16 games during the first 3 months of the season.

After his playing career, Hansen was a coach, minor-league manager, and scout.

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