Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame: Tim Hudson, Joe Simpson to be inducted

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 30: Tim Hudson
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 30: Tim Hudson /
Atlanta Braves
ATLANTA, GA – JULY 11: Tim Hudson /

The Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame will grow later this month

The Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame will welcome two new members on Saturday, January 27.  Former RHP Tim Hudson and longtime broadcaster Joe Simpson will be enshrined. As far as their personalities go, it would be difficult to pick two men who are more polar-opposites than these two.

The affable Hudson was acquired from Oakland in December 2004 for Charles Thomas, Juan Cruz, and Dan Meyer. Upon his arrival, he became a stalwart in the Braves rotation, serving as the resident ace.  

Over his nine-year Braves career, the ground ball specialist logged a 113-72 record with a 3.56 ERA.  “Huddy” accumulated 57.2 bWAR over his 17-year career.  He made All-Star team four times, including once with Atlanta in 2010.  He finally earned a World Series ring with the Giants in 2014.  At the time of his retirement, he was the winningest active pitcher in MLB.

Hudson’s Braves career ended unceremoniously when a race to first base led to Eric Young, Jr. stepping on his ankle.  It was a bittersweet end to his tenure and an improper send-off for a man who endeared himself to Braves fans everywhere.

Induction into the Braves Hall of Fame — THIS is the ending Hudson deserved!

Meanwhile, the Braves will recognize Simpson for his work in the booth, rather than on the field. The former Dodger, Mariner, and Royal joined the Braves broadcast in 1992.  2018 is his 27th year with the team.  

Along with Skip Caray, Pete van Wieren, and Don Sutton, he was part of a legendary broadcasting quartet.

When Marquis Grissom caught the final out of the 1995 World Series, and Caray pridefully declared, “The Atlanta Braves have given you a championship!” Simpson can be heard in the background emphatically shouting, “Yeah!  Yeah!  Yeah!”  

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At that moment, we were all Joe Simpson.  All of us united in triumph and spouting our affirmations, overflowing with pure, unadulterated joy.

Simpson has become a polarizing figure in Braves Country, due to a recent adaptation of a “Get Off My Lawn!” mentality.  As baseball has evolved considerably since Simpson’s playing days ended in 1983, he has been reluctant to adapt to the 2018 version of the game.  

Also, Simpson is known for his reliance on traditional stats – such as the archaic batting average – much to the chagrin of analytically-minded Braves fans.  Oh, the horror!  

Truthfully, it is not wholly dissimilar to watching a game with a grandparent, as many of my favorite memories from childhood involve watching baseball with my grandfather, listening to Joe call a game is somewhat comforting.  

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Regardless of prevailing opinions on Simpson, the man knows baseball inside and out, and he is a worthy inductee. Congratulations to these two long-time Atlanta Braves!