"Be like Orlando, be like yourself, that's the best thing anybody can be," Marcus recalled telling his son. "You can't be like nobody else. Be all you can be, but be yourself. Be Orlando."Orlando remembers his father taking that advice a step further, reminding him that he is no better than anybody else just because he's living his childhood dream, and thus he should treat everybody the same way. "You stay the same down-to-earth, normal person that you are, remember that, and respect goes a long way," Orlando recalls. That should make it no surprise that the younger Hudson stays involved with charity work, often visiting sick children, sometimes with his father. He has one more important reason not to take what he has for granted. Back when Marcus attended high school in Darlington, he longed to play high school baseball. But as a black man living in the South in the 1970s, he attended a school that dealt with the ugly aftermath of desegregation. On multiple occasions, Marcus tried out for the team, but as the only black man in tryouts, he never cracked the squad. Marcus never had a chance to showcase his skills and make a run at a professional career. He has gotten no closer than playing against former Minor Leaguers in the bush leagues. His son, meanwhile, hits third for a club caught in a pennant chase. "He is living my dream," Marcus said.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less