Hanson (concussion) feeling better, recounts wreck

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – As Tommy Hanson’s car careened down an embankment and across a field Monday morning, the Braves pitcher wasn’t thinking about his career or his life being in danger.

“I was just trying to get the car to stop,” said Hanson, who wasn’t sure what caused the blowout of his right-front tire that he said sent him barreling off a curve on a road near the Braves’ spring-training site.

“I couldn’t get it to stop. I don’t know if it was because the tires were flat, or just that I was in a car in a bunch of soft sand and dirt. But I went for a while, probably 90 feet.”

Hanson, who was driving to training camp for the Braves’ opening workout when the one-car accident happened, felt fortunate to escape with only a Grade 1 concussion and no broken bones, cuts or serious contusions.

He’s missed the first four days of pitchers-and-catchers workouts and probably won’t suit up until Monday, as the Braves follow post-concussion protocols and ease him back into action slowly after all symptoms subside.

“I feel all right now,” said the 6-foot-6 right-hander, who wasn’t sure if he’d bumped his head, perhaps on the car’s roof or headrest. “I’ve had headaches the last couple of days, but I’m feeling a lot better now and don’t have the headaches anymore.

“Hopefully this gets behind me as soon as possible. It’s definitely frustrating but it could have been a lot worse. Thank God it wasn’t, and hopefully I’ll just miss a couple more days and I can be out with the guys.”

He had bruises on his left (non-throwing) shoulder from the seatbelt he was wearing, and also on his forearms and left ribcage. But none of those were serious and only the concussion has prevented him from returning to workouts.

After feeling nauseous Monday and having headaches two more days, Hanson said he was headache-free Thursday. He took the ImPACT concussion test Thursday and results were compared to the “baseline” test he took three years ago.

He’ll probably take the test again within the next few days and could be cleared to begin workouts if the results match up with his with baseline test.

“That’s why we use baseline so when these type things happen, you put them back on the impact test and you can see right away where they are,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “Almost all sports are using the baseline testing now.

“He will continue to do the testing as symptoms subside. That’s one of tools we’ll use to see where he is.”

Manager Fredi Gonzalez indicated it would probably be Monday before Hanson suits up, in which case he would miss a week of workouts, including the first two full-squad workouts Saturday and Sunday.

Gonzalez reiterated that missing a week this early shouldn’t set Hanson back significantly. He did a lot of throwing in January while working to smooth out his pitching delivery, so Hanson was ahead of where he would normally be this early.

“I don’t know what they have planned for me, but hopefully I’d like to get back [working out some] this weekend,” Hanson said. “I feel a lot better now, I feel a lot clearer. At first kind of even just walking was messed up. I feel fine now. My headaches are gone, so hopefully obviously the sooner the better. But it’s kind of up to them…

“I feel like I came into spring ready. This is kind of unfortunate, but if I do have to take a whole week off I don’t feel like I’m that far behind.”

Hanson said he was driving at about 7 a.m. Monday when a tire blew out as he took a left turn on a ramp connecting one road to another not far from the Braves’ training camp at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. By the time he stopped the car both right tires were flat, he said, but he was able to drive it slowly to the road for the tow truck.

Hanson said there was other damage to the car, which will be in the repair shop for some time. It was his own car, not a rental.

“I really didn’t remember what happened [soon after the accident],” he said. “Now I kind of remember what happened. It kind of just threw me off the road. I don’t remember how I hit my head or what I did.

“I went down probably like a 5-foot drop and then went through a field, kind of hit, like, an embankment. And then I got my car out of there and had the tow-truck driver drive me over here with my car in the back.”

“Then I got here and told [Braves officials] what happened. They checked me out and I went and saw the doctor and found out I had a concussion.”

There were no eyewitnesses and no police involvement in the matter. Hanson was asked if he hit a curb that blew out the tire.

“No, I didn’t hit a curb. There was no curb there, it was just a ramp,” he said. “All I know is I was driving and it threw me off the road. And I wasn’t speeding or going too fast. It’s weird. Weird situation.”

44 comments Add your comment


February 23rd, 2012
3:43 pm

That was scary, welcome back Tommy.


February 23rd, 2012
3:46 pm

What kind of car was he driving?


February 23rd, 2012
3:59 pm

could have been alot worse. glad hes ok.

Roy Gibbs

February 23rd, 2012
4:03 pm

I have no idea what could have happened to cause two right side tires to blow out but I would
have someone inspect the car to determine if someone tampered with the tires.


February 23rd, 2012
4:10 pm

It does sound fishy doesnt it. Maybe glass.

Mark (another one)

February 23rd, 2012
4:34 pm

Blowing a front tire while turning makes it almost impossible to control the vehichle. I’m just glad they believe he’s all right. Blowing two makes me wonder if there was debris on the road.

I’m looking forward to seeing Hanson’s new throwing motion. Lots of people over the years have worried his old motion would hurt his shoulder. I hope he’s as effective with the new motion.


February 23rd, 2012
4:40 pm

In my limited experience driving in Florida (for about a week), it seemed like I saw more cars on the side of the road with flat tires, by far, than anywhere else I’ve ever been.

Ken Stallings

February 23rd, 2012
4:43 pm

For both right side tires to be flat means there had to be serious debris on the road. Even nails don’t normally cause blowouts, much less double blowouts. One wonders if someone did not put spikes on the road as a prank or malicious act and Tommy was the random victim.

Police spikes are the kinds of hard to see debris that would cause such a thing.


February 23rd, 2012
4:56 pm

In response to Roy Gibbs; yes, I know it does seem unlikely; but once on Peachtree in Atlanta I blew out the two right-side tires. They hit the same thing, a piece of concrete jutting out from the curb, one after the other.

A Father

February 23rd, 2012
5:11 pm

Two right tire blowing out occurs when a driver, TH, drops a joint on the floor of the car, when driver TH bends over to pick up the joint, the car runs off the road and crashes while blowing out both tires.

As Paul Harver says: A now you know the rest of the story!!!


February 23rd, 2012
5:52 pm

Very poor example A Father!..Some people always look to make things bad..get a life– you don’t know crap about Hanson are what caused the wreck.


February 23rd, 2012
5:59 pm

A Father picked on a brave pitcher. Wrong idea Pitching is the one good thing we have. If you want to pick on somebody, pick on the deadbeat hitters.

Chipper (Chumper)

February 23rd, 2012
6:22 pm

Taco Bell is one of my favorite places for fine mexican dining. I usually get three large beef burritos, two servings of fried beans with sour cream, cheese nachos, guacamole with more sour cream and some hot tamales. I wash it all down with some good old mountain dew.


February 23rd, 2012
7:29 pm

And someone over on MLB.com called Tommy Hanson a baby for suffering a concussion after this.

MC Justo

February 23rd, 2012
11:59 pm

@KLB — as of last season he was driving a black Infiniti M35.


February 24th, 2012
6:17 am

I’ve had a blowout like that from a defective tire.

A Father

February 24th, 2012
7:17 am

When a driver drops a marijuana cigarette on the floor board and bends over to pick it up, cars are prone to run off the road, blow out tires and crash. TH ?? come clean


February 24th, 2012
7:28 am

Something’s not right here. Speeding, not paying attention, texting, or phone dialing? The circumstances and the explanation seem to indicate more than what the situation really was.

It wouldn’t pass the test if a policeman was called to the scene.


February 24th, 2012
7:29 am

There’s a LOT more to this story. Let’s get real.

Too Funny

February 24th, 2012
9:00 am

Nothing to see here folks, move along.
Let’s play ball!

Chipper Jones

February 24th, 2012
9:04 am

I ran off the road in my truck when I dropped my triple thick burger from Hardee’s in my lap and then spilled my Mountain Dew all over the seat.


February 24th, 2012
9:07 am

A Father + Donovan + Sammy = 3 trolls.

Or d-bags. Take your pick. :-)


February 24th, 2012
9:19 am

A Father:

I invite all the other posters on here to chime in on whether any of them thinks your post about Hanson is the least bit funny. Let’s see if you get any votes.

Brave New World

February 24th, 2012
9:20 am

AzCat February 24th, 2012 9:07 am
A) A Father + Donovan + Sammy = 3 trolls.
B) Or d-bags. Take your pick.
C) All of the above

AzCat, I select “C”


February 24th, 2012
9:30 am

Delbert D.

February 24th, 2012
9:32 am

Al-Qaeda mini-IEDs.

Delbert D.

February 24th, 2012
9:33 am

That’s as absurd as it gets, so let’s just stop the nonsense.


February 24th, 2012
9:41 am

A Father = A Hole

That’s my vote.


February 24th, 2012
9:54 am

Thank god tommy was wearing his seat belt or he would have been either thrown from the car or ejected down the embankment. Live threw Hanson a curve and tommy responded with a changeup. Theres a lot more to the story that needs to still come out. But for now, hit the showers tommy youve earned yourself a replacement from the bullpen.


February 24th, 2012
10:10 am

AzCat = DENIAL. Live and learn.


February 24th, 2012
10:29 am


My son recently hit a curb while driving in Orlando while trying to avoid a car in front of him after being cut off by a crazy driver. He was sore for a couple of weeks but he had no serious injuries. It’s amazing what a difference wearing a seatbelt makes. Congratulations on using your head and a very speedy recovery to you.


February 24th, 2012
10:44 am

had this not happened on his way to the facility I’d think there was something up here. with that said, there’s no way dude was drinking or smoking just minutes from the facility.


February 24th, 2012
11:12 am

All of you except A Father are just naive. Of course he was distracted by something! Most likely texting


February 24th, 2012
11:13 am

Sounds like TH would make a good defense attorney

Cecil Upshaw's Ghost

February 24th, 2012
11:29 am

Tommy is very lucky. I remember a goodly number of years ago, while I was stationed in West Germany and was driving a little VW Beetle and hit an ice patch. My car went round and round and round like a merry-go-round. You can do nothing to stop it. Finally the car went off a small hill, overturned and slid probably 20 feet on the roof in the snow. I was hanging upside down in the vehicle seat belt. That was in the early 1970s. Thankfully back then you had to wear seat belts over there by law. Otherwise, I would have probably had serious injuries. Tommy was wearing his seat belt here and that probably saved serious injuries.


February 24th, 2012
11:40 am

I’m glad Tommy is good. I had a black dog run in front of my vehicle one night – that’s my story and I’m still sticking to it!


February 24th, 2012
11:43 am

Glad he is OK. Keep your tires properly inflated and replace them when over worn.

Bob the Blogger

February 24th, 2012
12:07 pm

Whatever the circumstances, this could have turned out a lot worse. He could have suffered a serious head injury, or just about anything else.


February 24th, 2012
1:01 pm

@Sammy: Denial? Of what? Your direct, unequivocal statement that “There’s a LOT more to this story.”? Guilty as charged on that. Though I am more than willing to apologize if you would care to share with the rest of us your direct, factual knowledge you have of the accident. Were you an eyewitness? Oh…no? Well, then, you spoke directly with an eyewitness? Oh, no on that, too? You were able to view heretofore unrevealed video footage of the entire accident, with maybe some forensic evidence? Oh, none of that either, huh.

What I can’t deny is you’re a troll, a d-bag, and apparently, also an avid conspiracy theorist. So now it’s become D rather than C to denote ‘all of the above’.

Mark's for the Braves

February 24th, 2012
1:41 pm

Glad Hanson is ok. I withhold any judgments about his driving. At least he doesn’t race down Peachtree street while drunk like Lowe did.


February 24th, 2012
1:53 pm

Relax everyone… nothing mysterious about this situation. Cavemen are known to be notoriously poor drivers. :twisted: jk


February 24th, 2012
2:13 pm

I actually had a front tire blowout after being warned to replace it due a a light bubble on the tire. Bubble started after hitting an absolutely nasty pothole. I avoided the warning bcause .. well .. because I thought the guy was just trying to sell me as he also stated I would be better off replacing all 4 tires at once due to the wear being uneven on one tire causing a sterring issue. The tires had less than 5000 miles on them, so I thought he was full of it.

Well, about 6 months later .. bam .. blowout on right front. Car jerks across the road and I recovered in time as I was in the left lane and fortunately no car in the right lane which gave me room to correct. Had I not recoved I would have hit a small ditch then a dirt birm. Impact of a car of any weight driven hard into something like that could have easily blown out a second tire.

For all those saying there was no way it was a blown tire, I hope it nevers happen to you .. but if it did then I would simply state you got what you deserve. You better watch out, because karma is a cruel lady.


February 24th, 2012
5:07 pm

Lollygagger, your words are hurtful. I’m taking the bus and you won’t see me at the pancake social!


February 24th, 2012
5:42 pm


Thank you for some common sense here. It’s ridiculous that people hate Hanson so much they’re willing to try and turn a simple situation into something more. Hanson is not Derek Lowe.

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