Rex Hudler at Angels FanFest in February 2005.
September 2, 1960 |
|September 9, 1984, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 23, 1998, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Runs batted in||169|
Rex Allen Hudler (born September 2, 1960) is a TV Color Commentator for the Kansas City Royals and a former Major League Baseball utility player. He played a total of fourteen seasons after being a first round draft pick of the New York Yankees in 1978. During his career, he was known primarily by the nickname "Wonderdog", after the character from the old Super Friends animated television series. He was also known by the moniker "Bug Eater."
Hudler played for six different Major League Baseball teams, and at every position except pitcher and catcher throughout his career: the New York Yankees (1984–1985), Baltimore Orioles (1986), Montreal Expos (1988–1990), St. Louis Cardinals (1990–1992), California Angels (1994–1996), and Philadelphia Phillies (1997–1998). He also played for the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese Central League in 1993. During his playing career in Japan, he contributed to the team's back-to-back league championship and its second-ever Japan Series championship since its first title in 1978.
A 1978 graduate of Bullard High School (Fresno, California), Hudler played baseball, soccer and football, earning first-team All-America honors as a wide receiver. Prior to signing with the Yankees, Hudler was visited by Notre Dame, who hoped that he would suit up for their football team.
Hudler saw playing time in the minor leagues with the Rochester Red Wings of the Triple-A International League in 1986 and 1987. He then saw playing time with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians of the American Association in 1988 as the starting third baseman.
Hudler earned his "Bug-Eater" moniker in St. Louis, when during a game he picked up an enormous June bug off his cap; when dared to eat it by Cardinals teammate Tom Pagnozzi, Hudler got the players in the dugout involved and they paid him $800 to eat the bug (which he did).
Hudler was a 1999 inductee into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame.
From 1999 through the 2009 season Hudler was the color commentator for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim radio and television broadcasting team, alongside play-by-player announcers Steve Physioc, Rory Markas, and Terry Smith. He is also the color commentator for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable games MLB 06: The Show, 07, 08, 09, 10, and 11 and is also featured in 10 for the PlayStation 3 along with Dave Campbell and Matt Vasgersian. For the 2011 edition on the PlayStation3, he was replaced by Eric Karros. He also provided color commentary, with ESPN's Jon Miller on play-by-play, for the 2004 Xbox and PlayStation 2 title ESPN Major League Baseball.
He is also the president of the non-profit organization Team Up For Down Syndrome, which raises money for public awareness, housing, education, job training, family counseling and health care for those living with Down Syndrome. Hudler and his wife Jennifer have a 12-year-old son who was born with the chromosomal abnormality.
In addition, Hudler is a motivational speaker.
- "Broadcasters" page on Angels website
- Associated Press, "Hudler suspended following marijuana arrest", September 4, 2003
- Diane Pucin, Los Angeles Times, "Rex Hudler, Steve Physioc no longer Angels broadcasters" Los Angeles Times (Nov, 2009).
- St. Petersburg Times, "TV announcer Hudler hospitalized with brain aneurysm", April 9, 2001