September 2, 1960 |
Tempe, Arizona, U.S.
|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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
- "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"
- St. Petersburg Times, "TV announcer Hudler hospitalized with brain aneurysm", April 9, 2001
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Hudler suspended following marijuana arrest
- TV announcer Hudler hospitalized with brain aneurysm
- Rex Hudler's web site