Randy Smith: Have A Day, Tim Hudson!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

One of my favorite people of all-time was the late Buster Sterchi, long-time softball guru and coach in South Carolina. One of Buster’s favorite sayings was, “Have A Day!” He told all his players that at least a dozen times per season when he was coaching. When I watched Atlanta Braves Pitcher Tim Hudson almost single-handedly beat the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night, I thought fondly of Buster.

Hudson ran his record to 3-1 with the win, combining with reliever Anthony Varvaro for a neat three-hitter. But more importantly, it was career win number 200 for Hudson. The 37 year old Braves ace also homered and doubled, and as Buster would say, “ he had a day!”

“It was a fun game,” Hudson said. “Obviously, it’s kind of surreal. Nobody expects to hit a home run.” His fifth inning blast to right-center field was the third of his major league career. It was also his first since June of 2011, and that 200 win total makes him only the third active pitcher with 200 or more wins. Andy Pettitte (248) and Roy Halladay (201) are the other two. Most importantly for Atlanta, it was the Braves ninth straight win over the Nationals.

Now that Tim Hudson has picked up his 200th career win, there is talk about Hall of Fame consideration. There are also some detractors who will argue against his 3.73 career ERA. But, you have to take into consideration most of his career has taken place in the “steroid era” of Major League Baseball; when very few pitchers had a good ERA. His Hall of Fame supporters can also point to his .656 winning percentage, which is currently seventh best all-time among pitchers with 200 or more wins. It is very likely too early to seriously start Hall of Fame talk for the former Auburn star, but he is a bona-fide candidate.

Unlike former Braves pitchers, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, or John Smoltz, Hudson has never won a Cy Young Award. After successfully bouncing back from Tommy John surgery in 2008, he hasn’t been great, but he has been consistently good. At 3-1 to start the 2013 season, and barring injuries, he could make a real case for his first Cy Young honor. “He was as good as I’ve ever seen him,” said Nationals manager Davey Johnson after Tuesday nights’ game. It also helps that he has a really good team playing behind him. The Braves are 17-9 and have a 4 ½ game lead in the National League East.

Has any other big-league pitcher done what Tim Hudson did? Well, there are folks who keep up with those things. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Bob Lemon is the only other pitcher to accomplish that feat. He did it back in 1956. Knowing the free-spirited Hudson, he is most likely every bit as proud of his home run as he is of the 200th career victory. “We’re pitchers. We’re not supposed to hit home runs anywhere.” Hudson said following the game. “The stars were aligned and it was meant to be.”

Here’s hoping the stars stay aligned a while longer, so the Braves can get back to the World Series, and so Hudson can win his initial Cy Young Award. Buster Sterchi is probably smiling as he looks down on Atlanta, Georgia. “Have a day, Tim Hudson. Have a day!”

rsmithsports@comcast.net

---

Randy Smith has been covering sports in Tennessee for the last 43 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has continued his broadcasting career as a free-lance play-by-play announcer. He is also an author and is a media concepts teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. He is also the Head Softball Coach at Brainerd. Randy Smith's career has included a 17-year stint as scoreboard host and pre-game talk show host on the widely regarded "Vol Network". He has also done play by play of more than 500 college football, basketball, baseball and softball games on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, CSS and Tennessee Pay Per View telecasts. He was selected as "Tennessee's Best Sports Talk Show Host" in 1998 by the Associated Press. He has won other major awards including, "Best Sports Story" in Tennessee and his "Friday Night Football" shows on WRCB-TV twice won "Best Sports Talk Show In Tennessee" awards. He has also been the host of "Inside Lee University Basketball" on CSS for the past 11 years. He was the first television broadcaster to ever be elected to the "Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame", in 2003. Randy and his wife, Shelia, reside in Hixson. They have two married children (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith). They also have three grandchildren (Coleman, Boone, and DellaMae).


Szmidt Starts Red Hot In Heights' Rare Home Game

Talk about starting out a game with red-hot shooting. Hamilton Heights’ Therren Shelton-Szmidt was on target early, hitting 5-of-6 3-pointers in the first quarter and leading the Hawks to a 72-57 victory over Central Park on Friday night. Szmidt’s opening barrage helped the Hawks take a 29-8 advantage after one quarter of action. They were up 49-20 at halftime. Playing ... (click for more)

Covenant Women Win 78-62 At Wesleyan

The Covenant women's basketball team used a season-best shooting performance to knock off USA South foe Wesleyan, 78-62, on Friday night at Porter Gymnasium. Covenant (7-8, 1-4 USA South) shot 56.4 percent (31-of-55) from the field in the victory that snapped a four-game losing streak. It marked the second time this year that the Scots have shot at least 56 percent from the ... (click for more)

2 People Shot And Killed On 12th Street; Vehicle Crashes Near Willow Street

Two people were shot and killed in the 2100 block of E. 12th Street on Friday night. The vehicle in which the shooting victims were riding crashed, landing on another car near Willow Street. The to people in the car that wrecked were dead when officers arrived. Police said the incident happened around 8:15 p.m. Police are looking for suspects in the double murder, but ... (click for more)

School Board Approves 4-Year Contract Extension With Independent Bus Drivers, Who Say They Can Handle 100 Routes; Extension Given On Custodial Contract

The county school board on Thursday night extended the contract by four years of school bus owner operators, who said they could deliver on 100 bus routes. The board delayed until a special meeting at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Central High School the issue of whether to accept the offer of 100 contract routes. That would be handled by many of the current 49 owner operators taking ... (click for more)

Bakewell Mountain Community Thanks Commissioner Fairbanks

The residents of Bakewell Mountain want to formally thank Commissioner Randy Fairbanks for standing up for our community in protecting our property rights and families. He personally made several trips to our properties and homes to see how the proposed gun range would affect our daily lives with noise, traffic, and a decrease in property values. Sometimes the little guys need ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Lady Remembers Rex

Kevin Roden sits on the City Council in Denton, Texas (think the Dallas-Fort Worth airport area in the northeastern part of the state) and he is gearing up to run for a third term this spring. He’s already got his website up and, while the election isn’t until April, he writes on his blog every now and then. Last month he let his wife take a turn at it, which brings us to yesterday’s ... (click for more)