Mesa's Chris Hanks Reflects on Minor League Years
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.--Colorado Mesa head coach Chris Hanks was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1987 and went on to play four years in the minors.
But, the transition wasn't necessarily an easy one.
"I remember getting on the plane and feeling like a million bucks," he said. "Then the reality of the cut-throat business of minor league baseball began the minute I arrived in Winter Haven, Florida."
Hanks was then sent to Elmira, New York in the New York-Penn League.
"It was an incredibly unfamiliar environment and completely new culture," he said. "That's why I think it was difficult. It was very hard."
CMU left fielder Jeff Popick, who recently signed with the Rockies and was assigned to the rookie team in Grand Junction, was coached by Hanks all four years of his college career.
"I think with Jeff, to be in an environment that he knows, will help a lot," he said. "To start that career in a comfortable environment can do nothing but benefit him, so it'll be fun watching him play."
Opening day for the Grand Junction Rockies is set for Saturday, June 23. First pitch at 7:05 p.m.