Police: Late baseball pitcher Tommy Hanson died of apparent overdose

At 6-foot-6, Tommy Hanson earned the nickname "Big Red" among his fellow Braves.

Story highlights

  • Tommy Hanson went to a hospital Sunday; his former team said he'd died two days later
  • Authorities say emergency room staff raised the possibility of an overdose

(CNN)Former baseball pitcher Tommy Hanson, one of the sport's top prospects in 2006, died following an apparent overdose, Georgia authorities told CNN on Thursday.

An incident report from the Coweta County Sheriff's Office stated that the 29-year-old had suffered an overdose.
"Responded to the above location to assist fire and EMS with a person not breathing," that report stated.
    The sheriff's office said separately that "the cause and manner of death is still being looked at," adding that "there is no indication or suspicion of foul play."
    That statement acknowledged that it's up to medical personnel to definitively determine a cause of death, while indicating that hospital emergency room staff led the responding law enforcement officer "to believe an overdose was a possibility."
    Hanson, who spent most of his career with the Atlanta Braves, had trouble breathing Sunday when he was rushed to an Atlanta hospital and was in a coma Monday due to catastrophic organ failure, CNN affiliate WSB reported, citing unnamed sources.
    The Braves' front office confirmed Hanson's death Tuesday, and Major League Baseball's website reported that some of Hanson's former teammates were near him when he died at Piedmont Hospital late Monday night.
    Citing an unnamed source, the league also reported that Hanson had difficulty breathing Sunday morning and was taken to a hospital.
    A 6-foot-6 right-hander nicknamed "Big Red" for his hair and beard, Hanson broke into the majors in 2009, finishing third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting that year with 11 wins and a 2.89 ERA for the Braves.
    His last season in Atlanta was 2012. When he began suffering shoulder and back injuries, he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels. Earlier this year, he was working his way again through the minors.
    Hanson finished his career with 49 wins and 35 losses, a 3.80 earned run average and 648 strikeouts, according to Major League Baseball's website.