#10: RHP Tim Hudson
Tim Hudson was a staple of the famed Big Three rotation in the early 2000s. His encore performance in Oakland last season where he faced off against colleague Barry Zito was an appropriate send-off for the former Oakland great, because he quietly had one of the best pitching careers of all A’s starters.
In the Athletics’ 106-year history, Hudson ranks sixth among all Athletics pitchers in WAR, at +31. He maintained the second-highest win percentage among all A’s pitchers, at .702. He ranks ninth in franchise history in strikeouts per 9 innings pitched, and tenth in total strikeouts. His WPA is second among all A’s pitchers at 17.2. The point of all these numbers is that if Tim Hudson was pitching, the A’s had a better chance of winning than if nearly any other historical Athletics pitcher was on the mound.
The truth is that there are few Athletics pitching leaderboards where you won’t see Hudson’s name, and this is an accomplishment that is only amplified by the long, storied history of the franchise. Any modern pitcher who can achieve in a top ten list among the likes of Eddie Plank, Lefty Grove, Chief Bender, and Vida Blue certainly deserves consideration as an all-time great.
Hudson retired from baseball this year after 17 years of service time in the majors. It isn’t every year that you get to see one of the greats retire with grace and dignity, but that is exactly how Hudson left the sport, having made positive impressions with each team he played for.
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