ATLANTA -- A season-ending right ankle injury denied Tim Hudson a chance to spend the past two months helping the Braves secure a playoff spot. But his time away from the mound has given him a chance to continue enriching the community.
Since joining the Braves in 2005, Hudson has established himself as one of the most charitable athletes in Atlanta history. Thus, it was not surprising to learn the veteran pitcher has been selected as the Braves' Roberto Clemente Award nominee for the seventh time in the past eight years. He was also nominated four times (2001-04) while playing for the A's.
Tuesday is Roberto Clemente Day throughout Major League Baseball, a day instituted on the 30th anniversary of his passing in 1972 to keep alive Clemente's spirit of giving. Voting runs from Sept. 17 through Oct. 6 at chevybaseball.com as fans help decide which of those 30 club winners will receive this prestigious recognition. The nominees were chosen based on their dedication to giving back to the community, as well as their outstanding ability on the field.
"Giving back and helping children is something that my wife, Kim, and I have enjoyed doing throughout my big league career," Hudson said when nominated two years ago. "We know how fortunate we are, and the importance of giving back. It feels good to be able to help kids and families who are going through things many of us could never truly understand."
Since beginning the Hudson Family Foundation in 2009, the Hudsons have raised somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million to benefit children in Georgia and Alabama who have a genuine need for assistance.
The Hudsons have been involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation dating back to 2000, when they were introduced to a young girl from the Oakland area who was battling cancer.
Their commitment to enriching the lives of sick children has led them to make countless hospital visits, bring terminally ill patients to baseball ballparks and financially assist some families as they attempt to pay for both medical and everyday expenses.
The Hudsons have helped raise approximately $2 million for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. They also support the Moyer Foundation's Camp Erin -- a bereavement camp designed for children ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of a parent, friend or loved one -- and Team Colin, a growing community of individuals seeking to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis and the unique challenges families with cystic fibrosis patients face.
After the 2010 season, Hudson was honored with the Hutch Award, which is annually given to the MLB player who best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication of baseball great Fred Hutchinson both on and off the field.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.