Birmingham, AL (WIAT)-On Wednesday night, Samford hosted it’s inaugural First Pitch Dinner for members of the Diamond Society where former Auburn pitcher reunited with Casey Dunn who now enters his 12th season as head coach of the Bulldogs.
“Casey is a buddy of mine, even though I am an Auburn guy, he’s a Samford guy, but he is still part of the Auburn family,” said Hudson. “He was my teammate back in ’96 and ’97 and we have a lot of great memories from down there . I am proud of him as a man, father, and husband that he has become over the years, and also a coach. I feel like he is one of the better coaches in Alabama.”
Hudson was an All-American pitcher and outfielder at Auburn leading the Tigers to the 1997 College World Series. A sixth-round draft pick of Oakland, Hudson played 17 seasons in the major leagues with the A’s, Braves and Giants.
“When people look at him, they see the physical stature and look at what he was able to accomplish,” said Dunn. “The grit he had, the heart he had, how competitive he was, those are the things that made him so special. You saw that even in college. I don’t think anyone would say he is going to be a 17-year big leaguer, an all-star, even a borderline hall of famer, but just the competitive drive and fight that he has was what made him so special.”
Hudson, who retired in 2015, still lives in Auburn and continues his support of the Auburn baseball program including the recent hiring of new head coach Butch Thompson.
“That’s going to be my baseball fix from here on out,” said Hudson. “I spent the last 17 years playing it. From here on out I am going to do whatever I can to support Auburn baseball. I feel like Butch Thompson is a great hire for the program. He is a great Auburn guy. I think he’s somebody that is going to take the program in the right direction and something we’ve been looking for for a while.”
Auburn’s season opener is Friday, February 19 at home against Sacramento State.
Samford opens their season the same day at home against Butler.