The Baseball Player
A four-time Golden Glove Award winner and two-time All-Star player, Orlando Hudson the San Diego Padres new second baseman, is renowned in the major leagues for his fielding prowess, known for making breathtaking lunging catches and diving stabs at grounders.
Born December 12, 1977 in Darlington, South Carolina, Orlando Thill Hudson graduated from Darlington High School where he lettered in baseball, basketball and football and was selected as Player of the Year and an All-State baseball selection. Hudson was recruited out of high school in the 33rd round by the Toronto Blue Jays, but declined and chose to pursue college first. He attended Spartanburg Methodist College for two years, where he kept the scouts interest with his golden glove, impressive offense and most of all good sportsmanship. After receiving his Associates degree, Hudson was drafted again in the 43rd round by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Since being drafted in 1997, Orlando has played in the Future’s Game and led the USA World Cup team to a silver medal with his remarkable talent. Hudson quickly moved his way up through the minor leagues and made his major league debut July 24, 2001. His defensive talents were recognized in 2005, when he won his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award while with the Toronto Blue Jays.
In 2005, he was traded to the Diamondbacks where, in his first full season (2006), he set career highs, and won his second Gold Glove Award. After the 2006 season, Hudson became only the sixth infielder in major league history to win a Gold Glove award in both the American and National Leagues. In 2007, he was selected to his first All-Star Game and would go on to win his third consecutive Gold Glove Award for his phenomenal “web gems” and defensive expertise.
Orlando was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009. During the season opener he became the 8th Dodger in history to hit for the cycle during the home opener, an accomplishment that hasn’t been achieved since 1970. It would be in the Dodgers’ stadium where Orlando would win his fourth Gold Glove award and play in his second All-Star Game.
Hudson was traded to the Minnesota Twins last season and is now a San Diego Padre after signing a 2-year deal as starting second baseman.
Hudson is the type of player that leaves his mark on and off the field. When he’s not patrolling the infield, making a brilliant catch or in the middle of a stream reeling in the big one, the Padres second baseman lives to empower youth.
In January 2008, Hudson established, C.A.T.C.H. (Curing Autism Through Change and Hope) a non-profit foundation that enables children with autism to enjoy a normal active life through the funding of outlets for proper therapy, education, and extracurricular activities. Through grants to schools and other non-profit organizations that support the fight against autism, the C.A.T.C.H. Foundation is building a strong force to defeat the growing developmental disorder.
Hudson has come a long way from making The World Series during his Dixie Youth days to making it to the final round of the playoffs last season with the Minnesota Twins. Hudson’s 2011 season kicks off on March 31st against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Orlando loves the beautiful outdoors. In his spare time he enjoys hunting and fishing. Modeling after his father, Orlando became familiar with hunting and fishing as a toddler. By the age of nine, Orlando had killed his first buck. During hunting season (September to January 1), Orlando rises at 5 a.m. in order to catch the rising of the sun from one of his many tree stands. Once hunting season ends he moves on to his next passion, which is fishing.
Although Orlando does not swim or get near any large amounts of water, he loves to fish. He always laughs about not getting into water unless he is in a boat. At the beach he only goes far enough to where the water hits the tip of his feet. Orlando’s favorite fish to catch and consume are bass, brim and catfish.
Fishing and hunting are where Orlando finds peace away from everything. His dedication to living in the country is for the mere fact that he can spend his off seasons doing the two things that he loves.