Sarah's Take: Dave Hansen
Before the 2000 season some Dodger officials wanted to release Dave Hansen, but Bob Daly, the CEO of the Dodgers, prohibited them from doing that. Throughout the 2000 season, Hansen was the most consistent pinch hitter for them. He established the major league record for pinch-hit home runs. After the season the Dodgers rewarded Hansen with a one-year contract.
Dave Hansen, 31, has spent his career since 1990, except two seasons, with the Dodgers. He has made his living by doing the hardest aspect of baseball, pinch hitting. During this period he has had remarkable success breeding self confidence. His success and unassuming personality have made him popular with Dodger fans.
Before 2000 Hansen was a good pinch hitter, but after the season he earned the status of being a great pinch hitter whose name will live in baseball history for a long time. Known as a slap hitter before 2000, Hansen shocked the baseball world when he socked seven pinch home runs establishing a new major league record. The old record stood for more than seventy years, and a Dodger held it. As a pinch hitter, Hansen hit .273 with 14 RBI. Seldom he played a position, but when he played, he hit well. He had an overall batting average of .289 with eight home runs and 26 RBI.
As most seasons, Hansen did not play much defensively in 2000. He does not have good running speed, so his range is limited. His arm makes strong and accurate throws. The team has designated him as the emergency backup catcher. In 2000 he played first base, third base, and outfield, and he did adequately.
Though Dave Hansen did not catch many headlines in the press in 2000, he played a vital role in the Dodger success. Unlike some Dodgers, he never complains about his role. Anybody who questions Hansenís desire to win is out of line. In 2001 Hansen will be an asset to the Dodgers both on and off the field.