Rex Hudler

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Rex Hudler
RHudler.jpg
Utility player
Born: (1960-09-02) September 2, 1960 (age 53)
Tempe, Arizona, U.S.
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 9, 1984 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
June 23, 1998 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Career statistics
Batting average .261
Home runs 56
Runs batted in 169
Teams

Rex Allen Hudler (born September 2, 1960 in Tempe, Arizona, U.S.) is a radio broadcaster for the Kansas City Royals and a former Major League Baseball utility player. He played a total of thirteen 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 Superfriends cartoon series.

Playing career[edit]

He played for 6 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. Hudler saw playing time in the minor leagues with the Rochester Red Wings of the Triple-A International League in 1986 and 1987. Hudler then saw playing time with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians of the American Association in 1988 as the starting third baseman. 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.

Prior to signing with the Yankees, Hudler was visited by Notre Dame, who hoped that he would suit up for their football team. 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. He was a 1999 inductee into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame.

Rex actually earned his "Bug-Eater" moniker in St. Louis during a game when he picked up an enormous junebug off his hat and when dared to eat it by his Cardinal teammate, Tom Pagnozzi, got the players in the dugout involved and they paid him $800 to eat the junebug.

Broadcasting career[edit]

From 1999 through the 2009 season[1] 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 and 10 for the PlayStation 3 along with Dave Campbell and Matt Vasgersian. For the 2011 edition, 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.

Hudler was suspended briefly from his broadcast job in 2003 after being arrested at Kansas City International Airport for possession of cannabis and medical paraphernalia.[2]

In November 2009 the Angels and FSN West announced they would not renew the contracts of Hudler and Physioc for the 2010 season.[3]

In October 2010 Hudler began a low-rated Saturday afternoon program, "The Wonder Dog Hour", on Angels flagship station KLAA, 830 AM in Orange, California.

On February 14, 2012, he was announced as the new television broadcast color commentator for the Kansas City Royals, teaming up with Ryan Lefebvre and his old partner Steve Physioc.

Personal life[edit]

Hudler was hospitalized in 2001 with a brain aneurysm.[4]

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.

References[edit]

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