"I was so excited," Hannahan said. "I was calling everyone I knew on the way to the airport. I ended up going past the exit and had to double back about 20 minutes. It's everything I've been working for my whole life."
With Dmitri Young going on the disabled list, Hannahan is getting his big opportunity. Manager Jim Leyland said Hannahan will be in the lineup on Thursday as the Tigers conclude a four-game series in Kansas City.
Hannahan, who can play first, second and third and provide a left-landed bat for a predominantly right-handed-hitting team, has come a long way since Spring Training. He hit .269 in 68 games for Toledo last year, but a torn hamstring kept him out for 2 1/2 months.
Hannahan wasn't invited to Major League Spring Training this year, but won a spot on the Triple-A club and hit .282 with four homers and 23 runs batted in through 38 games. His style is described as hard-nosed.
"I like turning on the classic baseball games and seeing Pete Rose take the headfirst slide into third or second," Hannahan said, adding that he named his dog Pete in Rose's honor.
If Hannahan can bring some Rose-style baseball to Detroit, perhaps his stay won't be a short one.
High on Omar: Omar Infante was in the lineup on Wednesday for the third straight night as Leyland continues to go with a hot hand.
Infante started at shortstop in the series opener and went 3-for-4. He came back with a 2-for-4 night as the designated hitter on Tuesday and thus earned another DH assignment for Wednesday.
"He can hit," Leyland said.
Leyland continues to be impressed that Infante can sit for awhile and then immediately produce when he is called on. Infante went into Wednesday's game hitting .321.
"That's a talent," Leyland said. "It blows my mind how he can sit around and sit around and then go up there and give you a good at-bat. Not many guys can do that."
Leyland said Infante will be working some in the outfield, which could enable him to get additional playing opportunities.
Knock, knock: While visiting with the media before Wednesday's game, Leyland received some written information from Royals designated hitter Mike Sweeney about an offseason group trip to visit the Pope at the Vatican.
Is Leyland up for the trip?
"Yeah, but I'd have to knock to get in," Leyland quipped.
Around the horn: Leyland gave Craig Monroe a night off on Wednesday and said Pudge Rodriguez will get a day off on Thursday. ... After being placed on the DL, Young was granted permission to leave the club to attend to some personal issues. Young is facing a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence. ... Toledo righty Zach Miner is tied for the International League lead with six wins and is tied for seventh with a 2.18 ERA. ... Toledo infielder Ryan Raburn is hitting .338 with four homers in 19 games during May. Outfielder Ryan Ludwick is hitting .333 in May for the Mud Hens with three homers. ... Leyland would like to have another productive left-handed bat to splice into his lineup, which would create more bullpen matchup dilemmas for the opposition. "I wouldn't say it's urgent, but you'd like to have it," Leyland said.
Coming up: The Tigers will wrap up the Kansas City series on Thursday when left-hander Mike Maroth (5-2, 2.45 ERA) goes against righty Denny Bautista (0-2, 3.75 ERA) at 2:10 ET.