Hudson nominated for Clemente Award
Charitable hurler, wife represents Braves for third straight year
ATLANTA -- Tim Hudson isn't slated to deliver another pitch for the Braves until late next season. But as he rehabs from right elbow surgery, the pitcher will continue to make contributions to the Atlanta community.
Since being acquired by the Braves before the start of the 2005 season, Hudson and his wife, Kim, have provided their generosity throughout the Atlanta community. Their favorite charities are the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
Recognizing his many charitable endeavors for the third straight year, the Braves have nominated Hudson for this year's Roberto Clemente Award.
The award recognizes the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team. It is named in honor of the former Pirates outfielder, whose spirit and goodwill will always be remembered. Clemente died in a plane crash while attempting to transport relief supplies to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua on Dec. 31, 1972.
Fans can participate in the selection process of the overall winner of the award now through Oct. 5. The fan ballot winner will be tallied as one vote among those cast by a special selection panel of baseball dignitaries and media members. The panel includes MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and Vera Clemente, widow of the Pirates' Hall of Fame right fielder whose spirit and goodwill always will be remembered. The winner will be announced during the World Series.
Former Astros second baseman Craig Biggio was presented the award last year and John Smoltz was honored to win in 2005.
"It's obviously an honor to be honored for an award like this," said Hudson, who was also nominated for the award with the A's four times from 2001-04. "A lot of the credit has to go to my wife. We both are passionate about the things that we do."
As Hudson was making his way toward the Majors, he and his wife envisioned becoming involved in many charitable endeavors. A little more than a month into his big league career, a young girl named Miranda, who was suffering from a brain tumor, provided them the realization that they wanted to make a difference with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Sitting in an Oakland-area Applebee's that 1999 evening, the Hudsons heard Miranda talk about her dream of seeing Disney World and discuss the financial realities that would likely limit her to instead attend a Sacramento Kings game.
"It was kind of heartbreaking to hear that come out of her," Hudson said. "I wanted to buy her and her family a trip to Disney World. But at the time, I had all of a month in the big leagues. If I was in the same situation now, I wouldn't think twice about getting her and her family the trip."
Meeting this young girl served as the catalyst that have led to countless hours of charitable work provided by the Hudsons. They serve as the ambassadors of the Make-A-Wish Foundations of Georgia and Alabama.
Throughout the season, the Hudsons bring terminally-ill children to Turner Field to realize their dreams of meeting some of their favorite players. In addition, they raised more than $450,000, including a personal donation of $29,500, for the Make-A-Wish Foundation during a black-tie gala in November 2007.
"When you go home look at your children and see how healthy they are, it reminds you how lucky you are," Hudson said. "You wouldn't be able to comprehend some of things some of these kids are having to deal with. It feels good to just contribute to their lives in some way."
Around Christmas time every year, the Hudsons invite approximately 75 children, involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to a Toys "R" Us for a shopping spree.
Kim, who helped raise $139,249 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation during a walkathon last year, and Tim has pointed most of their charitable work toward children. They recently got involved with the Moyer Foundation and its Campaign for Kids, which is aimed at expanding the reach of the Foundation's Camp Erin, a bereavement cam designed for children who have experienced the death of a parent, friend or loved one.
"Once you get involved in these kinds of things, you want to do more," Tim Hudson said. "It's just a great feeling to see the kids or their parents smiling. It makes you feel good and reminds you about how lucky you are."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.