UL’s Sarah Hudek Has Dad Who Was An MLB All-Star
A member of the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns has a dad who was once a Major League Baseball All-Star, long before she became part of the softball program.
Outfielder Sarah Hudek, who joined Louisiana last week, after transferring from Texas A&M after two seasons there, certainly has good bloodlines.
Hudek's dad is John Hudek, a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher, who was named a National League All-Star in 1994, as a member of the Houston Astros.
John Hudek kind of came out of nowhere in 1994, after being acquired off waivers from the Detroit Tigers, to put up the best year of his career.
Of course, as in every great story, a lot of things fell into place,
First of all, Mitch Williams was expected to be the Astros' closer in 1994, after trading Doug Jones, their closer from the 1993 season, along with Jeff Juden, for him.
Williams didn't fare very well however, compiling a 7.65 ERA., before being released in late May of that year.
Hudek, who actually began the year in the minors, got off to a fast start for the Astros, not allowing a run over his first six appearances, before recording his first save in early May, in an 8-6 Houston win over the Reds.
Given more opportunities to close games, Hudek thrived, going 6-for-6 in the save department in May, which afforded the Astros to release Williams.
A right-hander, Hudek went on to record saves in his first 12 chances, prior to being named to the 1994 National League All-Star Team, joining fellow Astros teammates Jeff Bagwell, Criag Biggio, Ken Caminiti, and Doug Drabek.
A native of Tampa, Florida, Hudek pitched two-thirds of an inning in an 8-7 NL win over the AL.
Hudek went on to have a sparkling 1994 season, finishing with 16 saves and a 2.97 ERA., good enough for a second place finish in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting that year.
Sadly, the 1994 MLB season came to an early end in August, due to a strike that year. There's no telling how good the Astros, who were 67-48 at the time of the strike, or Hudek, could have been the rest of the way, but we'll never know.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Hudek went on to pitch three more seasons for the Astros, before being traded to the New York Mets for outfielder Carl Everett, prior to the start of the 1998 season.
Hudek went on to pitch for two more seasons, with the likes of the Mets, Reds, Braves, and Blue Jays, before retiring following the 1999 season.
One of the things I remember most about Hudek was the necklace made of shark teeth that he wore around his neck when he pitched.
The daughter of John Hudek, Sarah Hudek actually began her collegiate athletic career as a college baseball pitcher, at Bossier Parish Community College, where she pitched 20 innings against males, striking out 12 batters.
I remember hearing about a young lady pitching against the guys at Bossier Parish CC, and I ask myself, kind of in fun; "I wonder if Sarah Hudek is related to my boy, John Hudek?"
As it turns out, she most definitely was/is.
Sarah then goes to Texas A&M, where she thrived, playing softball, which she had never played before.
In 2017, the first year she ever played softball, Hudek hit a .291, to go along with four home runs and 34 runs batted in.
Last season with the Aggies, Hudek hit a .363 with 8 homers and 33 RBI's, earning NFCA All-South Region Third Team honors.
The fact that Hudek hit a .363 last season, playing in the SEC, in only her second year of playing the game, gives you an indication of her unlimited potential, and how bright her future is.
It really is a small world; John Hudek was once one of my favorite players on my beloved Astros, and now I'm going to be broadcasting his daughter's games.
I would have never envisioned that back in 1994.