Sunday, November 21, 2010
#541) JOHN HUDEK
John Hudek joined the New York Mets when he was traded from the Houston Astros in exchange for Carl Everett on December 22, 1997. The former all-star closer was brought over to assist in removing Everett from the roster. Everett had become involved in a controversy when a Shea Stadium child-care worker noticed bruises on his two children. A New York Family Court judge dropped child-abuse charges against Carl and his wife, but ruled that Linda Everett had inflicted "excessive corporal punishment". The children were placed in foster care.
Almost immediately after joining the team, trade rumors surrounded Hudek. He was assigned to the New York bullpen to begin the 1998 season. John made his Mets debut pitching the final two innings of the 6-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies at Shea Stadium on April 2nd. The right-hander would throw a total of 27 innings in 28 appearances. Compling a 1-4 record, 28 strikeouts, and a 4.00 ERA.
Pinch-hitter Matt Franco broke his toe during batting practice making the Mets short a left-handed bench player. Hudek was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Lenny Harris on July 3rd. "We thought he was a catch-lightning-in-a-bottle type of guy," Mets general manager Steve Phillips said. "It's been like this all the way since spring training," Hudek said of the trade. "It wasn't a total shock."
John left professional baseball in 1999. To remain around the game that he loves he operated the John Hudek All-Star Baseball Academy in Sugar Land, Texas from 2001-2008. During that same time he served as the manager and pitching coach for the Fort Bend Texans until being hired to serve as varsity coach and run the baseball program at Emery/Weiner School in 2010. A father of twin girls who the Hudeks often take to Houston Astros games. "It's hard to watch, because I want to be out there," John said. "But I take the kids, they will both go and watch them. They want to go —Sarah likes to go more than Haven."
John Hudek signed his card in the set for my friend, Wendy at the Houston Astros Alumni Golf Classic in Houston, Texas on November 16, 2010.