Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson (15) pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
ATLANTA, Ga. -- There's no single thing that defines a man. Life is never that simple. But for Braves pitcher Tim Hudson, a three time all star whose 14 year career has never had a losing record, the night of July 24th was a defining one.
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"It was probably one of my better games of the year. I was feeling good."
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The Mets Eric Young was at bat. He hit a ground ball that bounced off Freddie Freeman's chest and Hudson ran to cover first base.
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"Once he threw me the ball I kind of reached to make sure I was on the bag one more time and that's when he was making contact with the bag. My foot was in the wrong place, my foot was about this far, too far to the right. There was a loud pop and I heard it and I felt it and I screamed and Eric Young screamed and I was like 'Oh my gosh, I cannot believe this just happened. Like I knew it was something really bad."
This is what the end of the season for Tim Hudson looked like. There would be no championship run. Just an endless loop of a gruesome injury he couldn't bring himself to watch right away.
"It looked really bad but honestly it felt like it looked worse. I felt like it was Joe Theisman-esque."
Two months later, Hudson has graduated from the boot to flip flops -- his fractured ankle and torn ligament slowly improving.
"Physically I'm doing okay. The surgery went really well and the healing process is well on its way."
There is no good time to get injured but this was a bad time. At 38 years old, Hudson is a free agent at the end of this season.
"I would want to stay here. I know that I can still pitch at a high level, at the top of a rotation for a championship team."
But in the fickle financial world of baseball, Hudson knows life can quickly change. So he's staying in the moment, enjoying his time home with his wife and three children.
"I got to take the kids to first day of school this year for the first time ever. I've taken them to school but never the first day of school. So that was really awesome.The kids are really really digging it. they're liking daddy being home."
Their daddy likes it too. But he misses his day job, the one that puts him on the mound, hurling that next sinkerballer or cutter, sealing that next victory.
"My number one concern is getting healthy and getting strong and proving to Atlanta or whoever else that I'm healthy and I'm going to be able to be full speed in spring training."