The former Auburn standout was a fan favorite and highly respected team leader with the Braves, an undersized athlete with an outsized impact in the clubhouse and in the community through a foundation established by Hudson and his wife, Kim.
A native of Phenix City, Ala., Hudson is one of only 21 pitchers in major league history with at least 200 wins, 2,000 strikeouts and a winning percentage of .600 or higher.
Drafted in the sixth round by Oakland in 1997, he debuted in the majors two years later and won 92 games in six seasons with the Athletics, including a 20-win season in 2000 when he was the American League Cy Young Award runner-up.
Traded to the Braves in December 2004, Hudson posted 13 or more wins in six of nine seasons with the Braves, finishing with the third-best winning percentage (.611) in Atlanta history and ranking fifth in wins, ERA (3.56), starts (243), strikeouts (997) and innings (1,573).
After missing the 2009 season recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery, he was 17-9 with a 2.83 ERA in 2010 and was named a National League All-Star and the league’s Comeback Player of the Year.
Hudson, 42, finished his career by pitching two seasons for San Francisco and won a World Series ring with the Giants in 2014.
Simpson, who turned 66 on New Year’s Eve, returns for his 27th season as a Braves broadcaster including his 12th as analyst on Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast. He’s also an analyst on MLB playoff games for Turner Sports.
An Oklahoma native and former University of Oklahoma standout, Simpson was a third-round draft pick by the Dodgers in 1973 and played parts of nine major league seasons as an outfielder and first baseman with the Dodgers, Mariners and Royals.
“It’s a great thrill to be chosen by the Atlanta Braves, to be added to their Hall of Fame,” said Simpson, who spent five seasons as a Mariners analyst before going to the Braves booth in 1992 and joining a broadcast team that had the featured the late Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren along with Don Sutton, all Braves HOF inductees.
Hudson and Simpson will be the 32nd and 33rd members of the Braves Hall of Fame. The induction, held downtown during the summer in previous years, has changed time and location, moving to the Coca-Cola Roxy in The Battery adjacent to SunTrust Park and to be held Saturday, Jan. 27, as part of the team’s Chop Fest weekend.
Tickets to the induction gala can be purchased at www.braves.com/gala.