Danny Gans: A ballplayer at heart

  Being a ballplayer at heart, the start of May would have set Strip star Danny Gans’ competitive juices flowing. For ballplayers, this
time of year brims with great promise.

  Gans, who died early Friday morning at age 52, was once a ballplayer with a promising career. He had the good looks of a boy of Summer. He possessed great speed and was an excellent all-around player at Cal State Fullerton and later during a brief minor-league career that was cut short by an Achilles tendon injury.

  I remember him coming out to Cashman Field, sometimes changing out of his street clothes and into a uniform. Frankly, he looked more athletic in his mid-40s than many of the Pacific Coast League prospects did in their early 20s.

  Here is a photo taken of Gans from his college days, before his injury forced him to take advantage of another of his great gifts: the
ability to make people laugh and wow them with his skills as an impersonator.

  If he failed to make the big leagues on the ballfield, he was a Hall of Famer in Las Vegas, where he packed the house night after night.

  Being a ballplayer at heart, I suspect Gans would have tossed aside the stage for a chance to wear a big league uniform fulltime.