04/29/07 3:59 PM ET
Hudson learns of two tragedies
Hancock's death comes on heels of grandmother's passing
By Tony DeMarco / Special to MLB.com
First came the news from his wife that Hudson's grandmother, Vera Mickle, had died. That wasn't a totally unexpected development, as she had been ill for some time. But the next piece of terrible news was a surprise.
Braves director of media relations Brad Hainje called Hudson in his hotel room with the news that St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Josh Hancock -- a college teammate of Hudson's at Auburn -- had died in a car crash.
"I didn't want Tim to be blindsided by the news, so I called him," Hainje said. "The news hadn't been released yet. He was stunned. He told me that he had just gotten off the phone with his wife, who told him his grandmother had died."
So Hudson will pitch with a heavy heart on Monday, when he will make his scheduled start at Turner Field against Philadelphia.
"My grandmother's funeral is Tuesday, in Columbus, Ga.," Hudson said. "I'll have to find out about Josh's and see if I can get there."
Hudson and Hancock were teammates on the 1997 Auburn baseball team, when Hudson was a senior and the Southeastern Conference Player of Year, and Hancock was a freshman.
"We only played together one year," Hudson said. "But we would see each other in the offseason. There is a good alumni program at Auburn. Everybody who played gets together, goes to games, tailgates, spends time hanging out. I saw [Hancock] every offseason. He will be missed."
Tony DeMarco is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.