ATLANTA -- When the Braves traveled to Washington, D.C. the day before beginning a three-game series against the Nationals earlier this month, Tim Hudson opted to spend the day watching his three children participate in a variety of activities near their home in Auburn, Ala.
Now that Hudson has had the opportunity to see the joy his kids get while playing on the baseball field or competing in gymnastics competitions, he has a greater appreciation of why his father, Ronnie, would routinely complete his work at a construction site in time to watch his sons play baseball.
"The one thing that always made a huge impression with me was he was always there, regardless of what he was doing," Hudson said. "He could be out of town and I'd be playing baseball two hours away, and he'd always make time to get off work early enough to watch me play. That was special. As a parent, I think that's what you should do.
"It was always really cool to have a parent that cared about you and what you did. I see my kids doing the same thing. It makes me want to be the same kind of dad my dad was. You always want to try to make things better every day with your family and your kids."
With three school-aged children under the age of 11, Hudson has found himself attending various events. His oldest daughter, Kennedie, has participated in gymnastics, and recently shown a greater appreciation for softball.
"She's starting to play on some travel teams, and I think she's realizing she's better than she gave herself credit for and that she doesn't have to be embarrassed if she messes up," Hudson said. "I think she's starting to see, 'I'm pretty good at this, and I don't have to go out there with people looking at me like I'm not very good.'"
Hudson's younger daughter, Tess, might be the child most likely to explore activities that do not include bats, gloves and bases.
"She's kind of a free spirit," Hudson said. "She loves a lot of things. Her passion is probably going to be in the gymnastics, cheerleading arena."
Still at the coach-pitch level, Hudson's son, Kade, has started to show some of the same appreciation for baseball that his father had at a similar age.
"He's really starting to like it," Hudson said. "Hopefully he'll fall in love with the game. Around his age, I really started falling in love with the game of baseball. As parents, you see that. I know my mom and dad saw that baseball was something I had a passion for. As a parent, I think it's vital to find something your kid is passionate in, whether it's baseball, music or whatever."
Despite Hudson's own interests, he said he will never push his children to participate in any specific activities.
"I want them to do whatever they love because they excel at it and love it," Hudson said. "If it's baseball or softball, that's cool because it's something I have a background in and can kind of help them. If it's music, football or lacrosse or whatever, I don't know much about any of that. But if they love it, I'll support it, and I'll try to help them out in any way to help them be better at whatever they want to do."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.