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Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Outfielder Alex Hudak is funny, but his game is no laughing matter

FAU outfielder Alex Hudak, one of the team’s captains, had 17 multiple hit games last season. Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics.

In Mansfield (halfway between between Columbus and Akron, and known as “The Fun Center of Ohio”) little five-year-old Alex Hudak ran onto his yard dressed in Cleveland Indians gear. He  walked up to the invisible plate of his backyard, bat in hand, and hammered a pitch from his father. He was batting right-handed and the ball didn’t land in any Hudak property.

“He kept driving it into this guy’s yard,” his dad says. “There was a crabby old neighbor.”

It was such a frequent occurrence that the neighbor would constantly complain from the barrage of balls entering his yard. Hudak’s father had a solution.

“We’ll solve this,” his dad remembers saying.

Stephen Hudak made his son bat left-handed instead.

“The first pitch I threw, he hit it over the fence and into the garden,” Stephen said. “He’s been hitting left ever since.”

The neighbor’s house was safe from that point on, but now Sun Belt Conference pitchers are the victims of Hudak’s aerial attacks. The senior outfielder led FAU last season with a .360 batting average.

The 5 foot 11 inch tall Hudak arrived from Seminole State College in 2011. He almost stayed close to home to play for the University of Cincinnati, but was drawn to FAU for many reasons, eventually deciding it was a better fit.

“These guys came in here at the last second,” Hudak said. “I came down here on a visit. Really liked it. Really liked the area and the people. It’s a laid back atmosphere. It’s just a hard working program. These guys come out here and take care of their business everyday. They treat you like men.”

And in 2011, he played like one.

One game in particular caught the eye of his new head coach. It was a rainy day in March against Bethune-Cookman. The team needed a spark, and Hudak went 5 for 5 from the plate, leading FAU to a victory.

“He single-handedly won the game,” head coach John McCormack said. “Our team needed it then. The game wasn’t going well. He stepped it up and played great.”

But good luck trying to get the modest Hudak to boast about his accolades from last season.

“Very humble guy,” senior Mike Albaladejo said. “If you talk to him, you wouldn’t know that he was second-team all-conference.”

Not one to dwell in the past, Hudak lives in the present.

“I think I proved myself in the box, hitting. Statistically, I proved myself, but, I’m more looking forward to this season,” Hudak said. “We had a good team last year and we didn’t really put it all together. I just feel like this group is so hard working. They’re real dedicated.”

As one of the team leaders, Hudak uses his sense of humor to lighten the mood in the locker room when necessary. Pop culture references of Stewie Griffin and Will Ferrell are rattled off Hudak’s tongue as fast as his swing.

“Very funny guy. He’s the guy that quotes movies, all the shows — Family Guy, Step Brothers, all that stuff. He knows every funny quote you can think of,” Albaladejo said. “Especially Step Brothers. That’s one of his favorite movies.”

“Everyday just being around him, he’s just one of those guys that’s a real jokester, “ pitcher R.J. Alvarez said. “Real fun to be around.”

Hudak’s fun-loving approach can be found in his taste in music.

“He told me his walk up song is going to be ‘I’m sexy and I know it,’” his dad said. “I was like, ‘You’re going to get hit every single time you go to the plate.’ A pitcher is going to listen to that song and want to drill him in the ass.”

Hudak is more than just a funnyman, though. He is serious about his studies. Hudak, a public communications major, was summa cum laude in high school at Mount Dora High School, and has a 3.3 GPA at FAU. His mother stressed the importance of succeeding academically in order to be successful after sports.

“That’s a big deal with us,” his mother said. “My dad was an educator so grades are always important. After baseball, you have to have a life.”

His mother is a pharmaceutical representative, and while he shares an interest in that field, Hudak has dreams of playing professionally, and would rather be on the baseball field for as long as possible.

“I’d like to get into that,” Hudak said. “But hopefully I’m in right field or somewhere on the diamond for awhile.”

He’s not just a leader on the field, but is one off of it as well, mentoring his teammates in the classroom.

“Me and him have the same major. I have him in a lot of my classes,” Albaledejo said. “I go to him for help.”

According to Hudak, the lessons learned on the baseball field are invaluable in all aspects of life. He wants to share them with his teammates.

“This game teaches you to be pretty independent and trust and count on yourself,” Hudak said. “So, I just try to be a role model for other players.”

Hudak does not pretend to be someone he is not. For better or for worse, he opens up his true personality for the world to see. He would not have it any other way.

“The one thing that’s always stuck with me is always be honest. Just be yourself. That’s really helped me in school, in baseball and life,” Hudak said. “Do unto others as you want others to do unto you. Treat people good, treat people right, like how you wanted to be treated.”

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