Augie’s Parker Hanson has been overcoming adversity all of his life
Vikings pitcher has made a big impression in the NSIC
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Parker Hanson can bring the heat with his right hand. “You get to know him and nobody really knows that he’s missing something there.,” Augustana Head Coach Tim Huber says.
So much so that you probably won’t notice that he doesn’t have a left. “They didn’t see it in the ultrasounds or anything like that. So I came out and the doctor said to my mom hey, your son is missing his left hand. And the rest is history basically. My mom didn’t really let it effect her the way that she was going to raise me which was, honestly, the best thing that could have happened. She encouraged me to do everything I want and, you know, never held me back,” Augustana Senior Pitcher Parker Hanson says.
I saw that eleven years ago when I first met Parker at a Minnesota Twins skills camp. “So I’ve just gotten used to it. Now I wonder what it’s like to play with two. I want to play for the Minnesota Gophers and I want to be their second baseman,” Parker Said In 2010.
Hanson would go on to become a standout prep baseball and football player, developing a unique motion to pitch. “I hold my glove right here in my elbow so my glove would sit like this basically. And then I put my hand inside the glove, grab the ball, adjust my grip for whatever pitch I’m throwing, and then I just start my windup. And then, as I throw, I use my arm to tuck, I throw, and then I bring my arm up and through into the glove to get it back on my hand,” Hanson says of his motion.
It was something Parker was ready to give up during his first year of junior college. “I just walked away. I wasn’t enjoying it, I was in the wrong situation there. Didn’t vibe with the game anymore. But I got a call to keep playing up in Crookston there and found my dream, found my passion, again,” Parker says.
Augustana saw that when they first faced him in 2017. “I’m like hey, I get this guy is missing a hand here, but we’re trying to win a baseball game,” Huber says.
“Coach Huber challenged me the first two batters of the game where they bunted just testing me to see if I could field my position,” Hanson says.
“He picked it up barehanded and threw us out. So yeah, I mean, Parker is crazy! He’s a guy you tell him he can’t do it and he’s going to prove you wrong,” Augustana Senior Infielder Sam Baier says. Three years later Hanson would be suiting up for them, grad transferring to Augustana to pursue his Master’s Degree in sports administration and a national title with the Vikings.
“He throws hard enough, he’s got a good breaking ball, and when he throws it over the plate and down in the zone he’s really tough.” Huber says.
As his college career winds down Parker is looking beyond the diamond. “I also get to use my platform now to express my views to other people and try to maybe help other kids that have disabilities that are trying to play sports. Or even everyday people. If something is going wrong in their life they can look at me maybe and my story and get motivated by that,” Parker says.
And he hopes that will include getting an at-bat and hit in a game before the season is over. With the aid of a prosthetic to bat, Hanson led his high school team in home runs, and last year had an opportunity to prove he could still hit against Augustana pitching coach and current Minnesota Twins reliever Caleb Thielbar. “Thielbar was trying to get ready for the re-start of the Major League season again. And yeah, he’s throwing to our players, and I faced him too and didn’t do very well,” Huber says. “I was just super excited to get in the box again! It was probably three years since I’ve taken a swing!” Hanson says. “First pitch he gets from Thielbar and he whacks a ball it into left field! And that’s just who he is. I got a hunch it (getting an at-bat) will happen. I really do. And I will be shocked if he doesn’t get a hit!” Huber says.
With the Vikings Zach Borg, Dakota News Now.
Copyright 2021 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.