Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, July 1, 1999

P R O F E S S I O N A L _ B A S E B A L L

Early retirement for
ex-’Bow Hansen

By Al Chase


In one of the shortest professional baseball careers for a player with Hawaii ties, Lars Hansen has placed himself on the voluntarily retired list.

The San Francisco Giants had picked the former Rainbow catcher in the 28th round (858th overall) of the recent amateur free agent draft.

Hansen, who completed his eligibility at UH this past season, signed and spent a week at the Giants' rookie camp in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was assigned to Salem-Keizer (Ore.) in the short-season Class A Northwest League.

He went to Salem-Keizer and played in two intrasquad games, but in the second game, an injury - his nemesis during four years with the Rainbows - forced him to the sidelines.

"I felt a knot in my back when I made a throw to second base. It's something I've had before but always got massaged out. I played two more innings, but the coaches saw something was wrong and took me out to get checked by the trainer," Hansen said.

"I found out I had pulled something in my rib cage in the back. I got treatment, but when I woke up the next morning I felt like I shouldn't be there.

"And, the knee injury I had at the end of the (UH) year didn't totally go away. I probably need arthroscopic surgery.

"My decision had nothing to do with baseball. I want to play, but health wise, it felt like it was time to hang 'em up. I didn't play very long, so it sounds kind of funny to say I'm retired."

San Francisco scout Darren Wittcke has talked with Hansen about the decision and indicated the Giants are still interested in having him play.

"In my head I feel I probably won't make that decision to return. I feel at peace with the situation," Hansen said.

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