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A's greats Hudson, Zito make HOF ballot 

@MartinJGallegos
November 16, 2020

At the turn of the millennium, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder -- The Big Three -- electrified the Bay Area with their brilliance on the mound. Now, two members of that dominant pitching trio get a shot at baseball immortality. Zito and Hudson were among four players with

At the turn of the millennium, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder -- The Big Three -- electrified the Bay Area with their brilliance on the mound. Now, two members of that dominant pitching trio get a shot at baseball immortality.

Zito and Hudson were among four players with A’s connections to debut on the 2021 Hall of Fame ballot, which was released by the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Monday. Nick Swisher and Dan Haren also are making their first appearance on the ballot.

Hall of Fame releases 2021 ballot | Complete Hall of Fame coverage

Though all three members of The Big Three possessed Cy Young-worthy stuff, Zito was the only one who managed to capture the award -- in 2002 after a strong campaign saw him go 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA. Playing eight of his 15 seasons in Oakland, beginning in 2000, the left-hander went 165-143 overall with a 4.04 ERA and a 31.9 bWAR.

While the A’s did not find much postseason success in the early 2000s, Zito shined in the playoffs. Over six American League Division Series starts, he went 4-2 with a 2.43 ERA.

Hudson found steady success throughout 17 seasons, but he established himself as one of the game’s elite arms during his six-year stint with the A’s at the start of his big league career, beginning in 1999. The right-hander went 92-39 with a 3.30 ERA with the A's, leading the league in wins in 2000 (20) and earning two All-Star selections and two top-four finishes in AL Cy Young Award voting.

Overall with the A’s, Braves and Giants, Hudson went 222-133 with a 3.49 ERA. He played on a World Series champion with San Francisco in 2014. Though it’s going to be a tough climb for Hudson to make it to the Hall, it is worth noting that of all the players on the 2021 ballot, Hudson ranks third in wins, and his career numbers are similar to Curt Schilling, who is a strong candidate to make it in this year after going 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA over 20 big league seasons. Hudson’s career 57.9 bWAR is second-highest among first-year candidates on this year’s ballot, behind Mark Buehrle's 59.1.

Candidates must be named on 75% of ballots cast by BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of MLB coverage to gain election. Players may remain on the ballot for 10 years, provided they receive at least 5% of the vote each year on the ballot.

Martin Gallegos covers the A's for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MartinJGallegos.