Hanks back at home for honor
Post Independent Staff
CARBONDALE ” Chris Hanks took a break from the present on Saturday to celebrate his past.
Standing on the baseball diamond his father help build on the southeast end of the Roaring Fork High School campus, Hanks accepted a replica of his now retired high school jersey at a ceremony in his honor prior to the 2004 team’s doubleheader against Eagle Valley.
“I like to thank the high school and the town of Carbondale for this honor,” Hanks said with his family in attendance.
“My father, Mike Hanks and Ron Patch, who this field is named for, helped bring high school baseball to Carbondale in 1983,” he added. “It was due to them I had the opportunity to play.”
Hanks, currently the head baseball coach at Mesa State College, is the third Roaring Fork High School athlete, under the school’s current name, to have a jersey retired. Girls basketball players Brenda Patch and Tricia Bader were previously honored by the school.
Hanks was the starting catcher as a freshman on the school’s initial baseball team in 1983 and was selected to the All-Northwestern League team all four years of his prep career. Additionally, Hanks was voted to the 2A all-state in 1985 and 1986.
In his senior year, Hanks was a major player for Roaring Fork in two sports.
He was a starting running back on the Rams’ state champion 2A football team and earned 2A state co-player of the year honors.
In the 1986 baseball season, Hanks led Roaring Fork to the 2A baseball semifinals and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox, but opted to attend the College of Southern Idaho.
As a collegiate, Hanks was a two-time junior college All-American with 48 home runs in two seasons at CSI. In his sophomore season, Southern Idaho earned a trip to Grand Junction for the Junior College World Series, where Hanks was voted the 1988 tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Hanks played minor league baseball in the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers organizations before an arm injury ended his playing career.
In 1993, he became a assistant coach at Mesa State before accepting the head coach position in 1999.
Prior to the 2004 season, Hanks’ coaching record at Mesa State was 180-113 with two NCAA Division II regional tournament appearances in his five years at the helm.
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