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Dec. 1, 2012
Hudson Depended on Team Chemistry for SuccessRoss McCulligan
Very few people can say that they have done it all in their fields. But Jack Hudson can.
He has more championships than Connie Mack, Casey Stengel, Joe McCarthy, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa combined. 49 to be exact. The last came courtesy of his Center For Sight team winning the 80s Major division at the SSUSA/LVSSA World Masters Championships in Las Vegas.
Hudson has been a part of practically every national softball organization imaginable and a champion in all of them. His teams have won National/World championships in the Hunstman’s Senior Games, ISA, SPA, SSUSA and Senior Olympics.
He has managed three tournament teams in his career as well as various league teams in Ohio and Florida. While managing in Akron, Ohio, Hudson’s team participated in the State Championships two years in a row. They won both times. He also led his Ohio team to a National Senior Olympics Championship in one year and a runner-up position in the next.
Hudson’s Florida teams, Goff Construction and Center For Sight, have won more than 80 percent of their games. They have racked up several Florida Half Century and national tournament championships.
His resume speaks for itself, but it is his character that is truly admirable. He is soft-spoken, humble, and intelligent. He chooses his words wisely. Like any great manager, he preaches team success rather than individual accomplishment.
SSUSA Executive Director Fran Dowell said, “Mr. Hudson was the very first softball player that I had the opportunity to speak with when I first started working at Senior Softball. He has continued to be one of the kindest players in all of Senior Softball USA.”
Long-time friend and player, Edward Eyles, introduced Hudson at the SSUSA Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He recalled when he was coaching third base for one of Hudson’s teams and waved in a runner who was thrown out by 40 feet.
“Jack is an understanding manager and never one to raise his voice at any of his players,” Eyles said, “however, I also never coached third base for the next 10 years,” he joked. Eyles noted that it was a pleasure playing for Hudson for decades. “Our players never put individual accomplishments above team success,” Eyles said.
Hudson’s leadership has created a bond between his players that runs much deeper than the softball field, they are a family. In fact, editing the roster has been delegated to a vote within his teams. When deciding to bring in a new teammate, each current player is allowed one vote whether or not to add the additional player. This recipe does not always bring the most talented players, but strengthens the chemistry of the team.
His formula for success has paid off. In addition to his SSUSA Hall of Fame induction, he is a member of the Halls of Fame in Greater Stark County Fumbleball, Greater Stark County Fast Pitch Softball and the National SPA Senior Hall of Fame.
In his acceptance speech, Hudson expressed his gratitude to his family and friends for their love and support throughout his journey. To his teammates he added, none of his accomplishments would have been possible without them. The relationships that he has built along the way have been more valuable than any championship ever will be.