Tim Hudson Sets Shining Example as Perfect Teammate


San Francisco Giants‘ pitcher Tim Hudson has enjoyed a great career. Now in his 17th, and almost certainly his final season, Hudson has amassed 220 wins, been to four All-Star Games, and has endeared himself to three separate fanbases along the way.

By all means, Hudson is one of the best we’ve seen in this generation. He was never overpowering, averaging just six strikeouts per nine innings over his 475 career games, but he was one of the best at making the hitters get themselves out.

Late in July, Hudson beat the Oakland Athletics, and in doing so, he became the 15th pitcher in Major League history to earn a victory against all 30 teams. But not all stories have fairytale endings, and as it turns out, that may prove to be the last start of Hudson’s illustrious career.

2015 has been tumultuous for Hudson, to say the least. Statistically, this has been one of Hudson’s worst seasons, as evidenced by a 6-8 record, 4.80 ERA, and 1.411 WHIP. Beyond the numbers, the season has been just as difficult off the field for Hudson.

Hudson has hit the disabled list twice now this year with what can best be described as the “pains of growing old”. His body is failing him, as he is dealing with shoulder problems, hip problems, and other issues that are keeping him from being his best.

There were also the problems surrounding his mother Sue’s health. Earlier in the season, Hudson visited his mother in Birmingham, Alabama, thinking it would be the last time he’d ever see her, as she continued to battle through liver problems at the age of 68. Thankfully, Sue received a donor liver, and is in much better health now. Still, that was heavy on Hudson’s mind through most of the season.

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But through it all, the goods, bads, ups, and downs, Hudson has remained the picture perfect example of what a teammate should be. He has put the team first time and time again, and did so another time on Friday.

Ahead of the trade deadline, the Giants pulled off a trade with the Cincinnati Reds to bring in another starting pitcher, Mike Leake. The acquisition spelled the end for Hudson’s days in the Giants’ rotation, as well as the 25-man roster as Hudson was placed on the disabled listt to make room for Leake, and Hudson knew it. In fact, Hudson was lobbying for the Giants to bring in another pitcher.

“For us to win a championship, I felt we needed to bring someone in,” Hudson told CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic on Friday. It takes a rare breed of player to realize that his team’s best chance of winning comes without him playing.

Hudson is ready for the future, and whatever it may mean for him. Obviously, when, or even if, he returns, he won’t have a spot in the Giants’ rotation, barring some sort of injuries or other unforeseen circumstances. Hudson realizes this, and he’s willing to take on whatever role gives the team their best chance of winning.

"“I’m on board with whatever helps the club get better and gives us a better chance of winning a world championship. If it means me changing my role, I’m all for it. I think everyone in this locker room is on the same page, and that’s winning a World Series. You put your egos aside.”"

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In an era where money rules all, and the “it’s all about me” attitude is so prevalent, it’s extremely refreshing to see players take on a “there’s no I in team” mentality. Hudson’s attitude over the last few days have epitomized what it means to be a team player. He hasn’t uttered a single word of complaint and has taken everything in stride.

Hudson has been around the block a time or two in the past. He knows that his time in the game is coming to an end, and it would be easy for Hudson to ask the Giants to try and trade him, to finish out his career somewhere as a starter. Instead, after tasting a World Series victory for the first time last year, he wants to do it again. His willingness to play for the name on the front of his jersey, instead of the one on the back, is proof of that.

Hudson is a true role model for youngsters out there. The way he’s kept his head held high through all the trials and tribulations is beyond admirable. It’s downright inspiring.

Tim Hudson, thank you. You are, and will always be remembered as, a great Giant.

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