Elston R. Hansen
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.
Elston Hansen played five seasons in the minor leagues and six in Hoofdklasse. He also appeared for the Dutch national team.
Hansen debuted in 1991 with the GCL Yankees, hitting .327/.441/.457 with 43 walks and 45 runs in 57 games. He led the Gulf Coast League in OBP, hits (68) and runs and was 5th in average, right behind Edgardo Alfonzo. Hansen made the GCL All-Star team at third base. League managers voted him as the #2 prospect in the league, right behind Cliff Floyd; Alfonzo was among those who didn't even make the top 10.
Elston split 1992 between the Greensboro Hornets (.273/.442/.333 in 11 G) and Fort Lauderdale Yankees (.241/.301/.302 in 45 G). In 1993, he struggled once more with Greensboro, batting .239/.333/.426 in 48 games; he spent the remainder of the year hitting .272/.365/.452 for the Oneonta Yankees.
Hansen split 1994 between Greensboro (.253/.325/.573 in 20 games) and the San Bernardino Spirit (.294/.389/.532 in 64 games). While he showed good power, with 17 total home runs, his career was nearing its end in the US. In 1995, he failed to impress with the Tampa Yankees, hitting a meek .193/.290/.299 in 61 games.
Let go by the Yankees, Hansen eventually caught on with the Amsterdam Expos. He excelled in the 1998 Hoofdklasse, leading the circuit in average (.472), home runs (23) and RBI (59, tied for first). He won the fifth Triple Crown in league history, following Boudewijn Maat, Hamilton Richardson, Hudson John and Scott Khoury. He was named league MVP, an award which went to former major leaguers the next two years with Rikkert Faneyte and Robert Eenhoorn.
In 1999, Hansen was not as dominant. He hit 17 doubles, tying for second in the league (behind Eenhoorn) and tied Eenhoorn and Raymond Hofer for the league lead with 16 home runs. He did put on a show in the 1999 European Championship to help the Netherlands win a spot in the 2000 Olympics, hitting .474/.545/.632 as the DH for the Dutch squad. He made the tournament All-Star team as the designated hitter.
Hansen starred for Amsterdam in 2000 as well, forming a powerful offense alongside Faneyte, Mike Crouwel and Remy Maduro. He ranked among the league leaders in average (.347, 6th), runs (43, 1st), hits (51, 7th), doubles (12, tied for 2nd behind Eenhoorn), triples (2, tied for 4th) and slugging (.497, 5th). He was left off the Dutch team for the 2000 Olympics as they opted for an infield of AAA player Evert-Jan 't Hoen (3B), former major leaguer Eenhoorn (SS) and major leaguer Ralph Milliard (2B) instead.
In 2001, the veteran spent his fourth year with Amsterdam. He moved to Kinheim for 2002 and did not rank among the league leaders in any department. He wrapped up his career in 2003 with the Tornado's club and again failed to make the leaderboards.