#10: Tim Hudson
The best of the Big Three, Tim Hudson was the star of the early 2000s rotation. When he retired in 2015, Hudson had the most wins of any active Major League pitcher, with a 222-133 record in his career. Hudson was quietly one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball for the better part of two decades. He joined a small group of pitchers who have at least one win against every team in the majors, and posted a borderline Hall of Fame-worthy win percentage.
Of course, Hudson is often overlooked because of the era in which he pitched. Not only were steroids rampant, making offense the dominant interest for fans, but he was competing with both the “moneyball” phenomenon and the success of his fellow rotation members. In the Moneyball movie, the writers conveniently left out the fact that Hudson, part of an established rotation that included Mark Mulder, Barry Zito and Cory Lidle, was a key cog in the 20-game win streak, as well as the rest of the season.
With the Athletics, Hudson was exceptional. In six seasons, he posted a 92-39 record, a 3.30 ERA, and struck out 899 batters in 1240.2 innings. After his time with Oakland, he was dealt to the Atlanta Braves where he continued to find success. He closed out his career back in the Bay Area, but this time with the San Francisco Giants. The four-time All-Star never won a Cy Young or MVP Award, but he was the runner up for both honors in 2000, and in 2010, he took home the National League’s Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Next: Top 50 Oakland Athletics: #9