O-Dog brings excitement, energy to D-backs Fantasy Camp

January 11th, 2017
Orlando Hudson, who played in Arizona for three years, has spent the past two seasons contributing to the organization. (Sarah Sachs/D-backs)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- You hear Orlando Hudson before you see him.

This week, during the D-backs' 12th Annual Fantasy Camp, his voice echoes throughout Salt River Fields.

"You always know when 'O-Dog' is around," former D-backs catcher Robby Hammock said.

Hudson has been a presence in the D-backs organization the past two years, visiting each of the team's Minor League affiliates to work with infielders.

Former manager Chip Hale often brought Hudson to visit the big league team when he felt the players needed some energy.

"You have to bring the energy," Hudson said. "Man, how can you not have energy when you get to be on the baseball field?"

Enthusiasm was something Hudson had in abundance during an 11-year big league career, which included a stop in Arizona from 2006-08. Hudson won four Gold Gloves as a second baseman, including one in 2007 when he helped lead the D-backs to the National League Championship Series.

When he came up through the Blue Jays' farm system, Hudson was helped by older players, such as Vernon Wells, Shannon Stewart, Torii Hunter and Gary Sheffield.

"They told me, 'Young buck, this is how you do it, this is how you need to carry yourself and handle your business,'" Hudson said. "I had some great veterans that showed me some things and taught me the game. They always told me, 'When you get to be a veteran, you have to do the same thing. You have to pass it along.' Now it's a blessing to be able to share that."

Hudson was brought back to the organization by former general manager Dave Stewart, who was dismissed following the 2016 season.

Mike Hazen took over for Stewart, and Hudson said that Hazen has made him feel welcome.

"Much respect to Mike Hazen for allowing me to stay around," Hudson said.

Hudson earned the respect of the player development department when he showed up on his own to help work the entirety of the D-backs' fall instructional camp.

"I'm loving it," Hudson said of his work with the Minor Leaguers. "It keeps things in perspective when you're around these kids. I was once like them. And by watching the different coaches, I'm able to see different styles. I'm always learning something."

One Minor League manager Hudson watched closely last year was Hammock, who was leading the team's Double-A affiliate in Mobile.

"He can instantly change the atmosphere in a good way," Hammock said of Hudson's presence. "He also just has tons of knowledge from his career. He's great for us."

It was during one of Hudson's visits to Mobile last summer that Hammock told him to come out to Fantasy Camp.

"He told me, 'Man you are going to love it,'" Hudson said. "And he was right, too. I wish it were longer than a week. I'm having an absolute blast."