My Time with Rex Hudler: A Character by Nature

Danny Hauger@@DannyHaugerCorrespondent IJune 7, 2012

24 Feb 1998:  Rex Hudler #14 of the Philadephia Phillies poses for a picture during Spring Training at the Jack Russell Memorial Stadium in Clearwater, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Scott Halleran  /Allsport
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Over the past year Rex Hudler and I worked closely for his hour-long radio program, “Rex Hudler’s Wonderdog Hour”, on AM 830 in Southern California. Over the course of this time I got to know this true character of baseball and listen to his interviews with renowned guests discussing life and the grand game of baseball.

Rex played in the majors for thirteen seasons for several clubs and was known for his all-out effort playing a utility of positions. He was part of the Los Angeles Angels television broadcasts for a decade and recently returned to the airwaves with the Kansas City Royals.

Knowing Rex, for me, has been about learning what it means to be a true character. His animated personality, effervescent speech, and unpredictable charisma contribute to this unique individual. During the year Rex talked with Frank Robinson, Nolan Ryan, Johnny Bench, and dozens of Hall of Fame players and significant baseball figures.

Through these discussions stories emerged beyond the game of baseball. Life lessons, struggles and battles with obstacles presented sides of baseball players that fans rarely hear. The uplifiting messages of perseverance and personal development have triumphed as the overall theme of working through difficulties to succeed in life, on and off the field.

I learned a lot working with Rex about his dedication to family and community. His participation in non-profit work for physical and mental disabilities has raised money and awareness for causes close to his heart. As president of Team Up for Down Syndrome, Rex has diligently committed time and effort to help provide counseling and care for those affected by the condition.

One of the most captivating interviews for me as a developing broadcaster was listening to Rex Hudler chat in 2011 with his now reunited broadcast partner Steve Physioc. Hearing the two of them banter back and forth referencing a relationship developed over a decade of close knit work and communication brought a smile to my face, as I imagined the travels and enjoyment of talking baseball for a career.

The amiable nature of Hudler is again shining a light in Kansas City, which is sure to establish a meaningful partnership over the years to come. Rex is one of the great personalities of baseball and reminds us all to enjoy life one day at a time. I am grateful for the laughs and comments we shared together on air and the hours of priceless information shared by some of the biggest names in baseball history.

Looking forward I am happy to be able to use the MLB package online to once again hear Rex and Steve on the air continuing to share the action about the Royals on the field. In addition, I will always remember the perceptions shared by Rex on the air over a year of memorable radio that should one day surface for everyone to enjoy.