After spending his college years at Chattahoochee Valley Community College and Auburn University, Tim Hudson played in the major leagues for the Oakland Athletics (1999–2004), the Atlanta Braves (2005–13) and the San Francisco Giants (2014–15). With the Giants, he won the 2014 World Series over the Kansas City Royals, giving him his only world title.
During his 17-season career, Hudson established himself as one of baseball’s most consistent pitchers and until 2014 had never had a season where he suffered more losses than wins. Hudson was also named an All-Star four times: twice with Oakland, once with Atlanta, and once with San Francisco.
Before retiring in 2015, Hudson was the winningest active Major League pitcher, as well as one of four active pitchers with at least 200 career wins. With a win against the Oakland A’s on July 26, 2015, he has won a game against every team in the majors, the 15th pitcher to do so.
Hudson is one of twenty-one pitchers in Major League history to win at least 200 games, strikeout 2,000 batters and have a win-loss percentage above 0.600. Of those twenty-one, fourteen are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Before the 2005 season, Hudson was traded to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Charles Thomas, Dan Meyer, and Juan Cruz. On August 6, 2005, Hudson won his 100th career game, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 8–1.
In January 2006, Hudson was named to the Team USA roster for the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
His second season with the Braves was disappointing. He posted career-highs in losses and ERA (4.86) in 2006. He returned to his earlier form in 2007 however, finishing with a 16–10 record and a 3.33 ERA. He was in the midst of a 9-game winning streak, the second of his career, at one point in the season. Hudson struck out a career-high 12 batters on April 25 against the Florida Marlins.
Hudson is one of only 7 ballplayers who pitched in the NL in 2007 who won at least 12 games in each year from 2004–07, the others being Carlos Zambrano, Greg Maddux, Roy Oswalt, Jason Marquis, Derek Lowe, and Jeff Suppan.
On August 2, 2008, Hudson revealed that he would undergo Tommy John ligament transplant surgery on his pitching elbow, and missed the remainder of the 2008 season. He started the 2009 season on the 60-day DL, and did not play prior to the All Star break. On July 2, 2009, he threw a 90-pitch bullpen session and Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox said: “He’s ready to go. … He’s really come along. He’s got major-league stuff right now, his normal stuff.” But Cox added that the Braves would not rush the timetable on Hudson’s return, which was scheduled for mid- to late-August. Hudson’s first minor-league rehab start was tentatively scheduled for July 19 at Class A Myrtle Beach. After completing several minor league rehab sessions, Hudson returned to the Atlanta Braves starting pitching rotation on September 1, 2009. He gave up only two runs and earned his first win of the 2009 season.
On November 12, 2009, Hudson signed a $28 million, three-year extension with the Braves with a $9 million option for a fourth year. On August 28, 2010 against the Florida Marlins, Hudson set a career high in strikeouts with 13.
On October 5, 2010, Hudson was awarded the 2010 NL Comeback Player of the Year award.
On June 20, 2011, in Atlanta, Hudson hit his second career home run, a two-run home run which provided the only scoring of the game in a 2–0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. On the same day, he got his 1,600th strikeout in the top of the fifth inning against J. P. Arencibia. On July 15, 2011, Hudson was the winning pitcher in the Braves’ 10,000th win in franchise history.
Hudson went 16–7 with a 3.62 ERA in 2012. On October 30, 2012, Hudson had his $9 million option exercised by the Braves.
On April 30, 2013, Hudson became the 113th major league pitcher to reach 200 wins, with an 8-1 victory over the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Hudson went 7 innings, giving up only 3 hits and 1 run while recording 6 strikeouts and 2 walks. Hudson also went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double and a home run. On July 24, 2013, Hudson was pitching a 4-hit shutout against the New York Mets when Eric Young, Jr., who was trying to beat a throw to first base, accidentally stepped on Hudson’s leg above the ankle. This resulted in an ankle fracture that ended Hudson’s 2013 season. After the season, Hudson became a free agent. His record with the Braves was 113–72 with an ERA of 3.56.