Sequatchie Co.’s Dakota Hudson pitches his dreams into reality
ATLANTA (WDEF) — What a summer for Sequatchie County native Dakota Hudson. His son was born in May, and then in July, Hudson was called up to the big leagues with St. Louis.
Former Sequatchie County Indian Dakota Hudson got the call on July 27th. The St. Louis Cardinals were calling him up from Triple A in Memphis to pitch the next day against the Chicago Cubs — a dream some thought unattainable.
“At Fort Bragg, he was having to write a paper about what he wanted to be when he grew up,” Hudson’s mom Christy Lockhart said. “And he wrote a paper that he wanted to play in the major leagues some day. Well, the teacher sent that paper back home, and he got an F. So we weren’t really happy about that and we had a little discussion with the teacher, because if you work hard and you let your kids dream, then ultimately they strive to do that and they do it.”
Hudson may not have aced that paper, but he learned from an ace, observing former Braves pitcher John Smoltz.
“My very first game, I watched John Smoltz jog in in the ninth,” Hudson remembered. “I remember my dad telling me he was the guy you wanted to be like. I don’t think I’m anything like he was. I think I’m my own guy. I think I’m just trying to bring the persona into the game that he had.”
Monday, he tried to bring Smoltz’s persona back to the mound in Atlanta.
“I feel like it felt similar to my debut a little bit, so it was almost like a second debut in a way,” Hudson said.
He had to ask for quite a few tickets for all his friends and family.
“I think one of the guys made a joke that you’re playing for free tonight,” Hudson said.
“One of the reasons I think we’ve been so successful here in the second half is that the changes that we’ve made, and one of those changes was bringing Dakota up,” Cardinals’ pitching coach Mike Maddux said. “He’s filled a big role for us, sucking up the valuable innings there at the end of the game when we have the lead and he’s keeping us right there close, so where would we be without him, I’d hate to think, but I know it’s very good to have him.”
Hudson pitched one and two-thirds innings on Monday against the Braves. He struck out Johan Camargo in the seventh inning to keep the Cardinals lead. St. Louis still in the wild card hunt for this year’s Major League Baseball postseason.