Every championship team needs a strong defense up the middle of the field, and Don Hansler provided that as a centerfielder on several championship teams.
Hansler, born in Tacoma in 1929, graduated from Lincoln High School in 1947. A three-year letter winner and team captain in wrestling, Hansler didn't play baseball at Lincoln High School until his junior year in 1946. He eventually became a member of the Tacoma high school all-star team that won the City League championship.
From 1946-54, Hansler played for a variety of teams in several area summer leagues. He played for South Tacoma in the Sunset League, for South Tacoma and Sportsmen's Club in the Tacoma City League, and for Midland in the Valley League. In 1950, he roamed centerfield for Doug McArthur's Busch's Drive-In team in the Valley League.
In 1951, Hansler played for the Oregon City Elks, helping that squad to the state amateur baseball championship and with it a berth at the amateur baseball national tournament in South Dakota.
Hansler came back to the Puget Sound region and finished his amateur baseball career with the Tacoma Athletics of the Northwest League.
He also played baseball from 1948-51 at the University of Washington, graduating from the school in 1951. He earned a master's degree in fisheries and later his teacher's certificate. He is now retired from his career as a teacher and administrator in the Bellevue School District.