There couldn’t have been a dry eye among fans of the Atlanta Braves or the Oakland Athletics as we all saw the horrific ankle injury suffered by Tim Hudson Wednesday night. I suggest avoiding the highlight if you’re even slightly squeamish, and thus I won’t link to it. The fateful play occurred when Eric Young, Jr. hit a grounder to first that was fielded by Freddie Freeman and as Hudson went to cover the base and receive the toss his ankle was stepped on by Young as he tried to beat out the throw. Hudson’s ankle bent in a way that no ankle should bend, and he immediately went to the ground in obvious excruciating pain. Fredi Gonzalez, members of the Braves roster, trainers, and Young all rushed to Hudson’s side.
To call the scene heartbreaking would be a massive understatement. Eric Young was visibly shaken by the incident, and was brought to tears in his postgame interview. Tim Hudson is one of those players who everyone roots for, and has tremendous respect for the amazing career he’s had and how he’s conducted himself. That is what made this so difficult to come to grips with.
It’s weird, because it has been almost 9 years since the A’s traded Hudson to the Braves for a package that would never amount to much of anything in green and gold. But Tim Hudson was one of those former Athletics who stuck in the hearts of A’s fans everywhere. While the likes of Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez and many other stars from the early 2000’s era teams moved on to various levels of success away from Oakland, none of them ever maintained the love in absentia that Tim Hudson did.
I still remember when Hudson came up with the A’s, he was impressive from the get-go. He became an instant favorite, and I always considered him the leader of not only the Big Three, but the Oakland Athletics as a whole. When he was traded in late 2004, it wasn’t a surprise as speculation of his departure had been going on for a while, but it was still very difficult to see him go. It was comforting though to see him heading to his native Georgia, a place he clearly was thrilled to be heading to.
Now 38 years old, this catastrophic ankle injury has not only ended his 2013 season, but it has put the rest of his career in jeopardy. He’s already overcome numerous injuries, including Tommy John surgery. He is in the last year of his contract with the Braves, so his future with the team now may be in question, would they want to bring back a 39 year old pitcher coming off a severe ankle injury? I hope so, he deserves that much.
Best wishes from everyone at Swingin’ A’s for a full recovery and a return to the mound for Tim Hudson, the bulldog.