Three former Auburn baseball players are on Opening Day rosters as Major League Baseball's 2013 season kicks off on Monday.
Josh Donaldson (Athletics), Tim Hudson (Braves) and David Ross (Red Sox) will each open the season on their respective club's 25-man roster while Evan Crawford is on the 40-man roster for the Blue Jays.
Donaldson is in his third year with the Oakland A's and is the expected Opening Day starter at third. Last season the then-26 year old played in 75 games, hitting .241 with 16 doubles and nine home runs as Oakland won the American League West. In two big league seasons he is a .232 hitter. He was a supplemental first-round pick of the Chicago Cubs (No. 48 overall) out of Auburn in 2007.
Hudson will be the Opening Day starter on the mound for the Braves. In his ninth season in Atlanta and his 15th overall, he has a 197-104 career record and he is the all-time winningest former SEC pitcher in MLB history. With just three more wins, he will join the 200 career wins club as he is the fourth-winningest active pitcher currently in the league. A sixth-round pick out of Auburn in 1997 following an All-American career, his 1,801 career strike outs are the 13th most of any active pitcher.
Ross is in his first year in Boston and his 12th year overall. Having spent the last four years in Atlanta, he is in his second stint with the Red Sox, also spending a brief part of the 2008 in Boston. He has also played for the Dodgers, Pirates, Padres and Reds. In 11 years, he is a career .238 hitter.
Crawford made his MLB debut on April 15 of last season and appeared in 10 games for the Blue Jays. Used out of the bullpen, the 2008 eighth-round pick logged eight innings and had a 6.75 ERA.
Forty-five former Auburn players have appeared in the major leagues. One has been named a league MVP (Frank Thomas), one has been a league Rookie of the Year (Gregg Olson), one has been the Comeback Player of the Year (Hudson) and one has been the All-Star Game MVP (Bo Jackson). Hudson, Jackson, Olson and Thomas have combined to appear in nine All-Star games while nine others have been a part World Series Teams (Joe Beckwith, Mark Bellhorn, Justin Christian, Gabe Gross, Josh Hancock, Terry Leach, Jimmy Outlaw, Ray Prim and Frank Thomas).