Mark Mulder reunites with Zito, Hudson to recall A’s vaunted Big Three

Last weekend, ESPN MLB analyst Mark Mulder returned to the Coliseum to watch his former Oakland Athletics teammates Tim Hudson (now pitching for the San Francisco Giants) and Barry Zito (in his second stint with the A’s) pitch against each other.

Neither Zito nor Hudson were factors in the resulting slugfest, which the Giants won, 14-10, on Saturday. But for Bay Area sports fans in particular, the weekend provided a chance to see the once-feared A’s “Big Three” – Mulder, Hudson, and Zito – reunited.

Sunday, each threw ceremonial first pitches. In their heyday as A’s teammates from 2000-2004, the trio fueled four postseason appearances. Mulder retired after pitching with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008 and joined ESPN in 2011.

Mulder, who returns to the booth tonight to call Wednesday Night Baseball, recalls highlights from the nostalgic weekend.

Mark Mulder on the Baseball Tonight set.(Photo by Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
Mark Mulder on the Baseball Tonight set. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

What was it like watching your former teammates pitch against each other?
It was cool to watch Zito and Hudson pitch. Neither of them pitched very well, but the ovation they got from the crowd was amazing and having our families on the field too just made it a great time.

If Tim Hudson or Barry Zito became broadcast analysts, what advice would you give them?
Oh boy [chuckles]! I would probably tell them to go with what they think. Someone once told me, “If you don’t have something good to say, then don’t say it,” but that’s a problem because as ex-players you know the game and if you have any opinion on something you give it. It’s an opinion— it doesn’t mean it’s factual, but that’s why it’s called an opinion.

How was it like your first day being on camera as an ESPN MLB analyst?
I had never really done any TV outside of being interviewed as a player so coming in as an analyst was something very new for me, [but I reminded myself that] any player who has played a game knows what they are talking about so all you have to do is go with that.

How are you preparing for the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates game you will be calling tonight?
I’ve been in these kind of situation where you’re on the last week [of regular season] and you’re up or down by a few games. I know how I handled it and that’s what I’m going to talk about Wednesday night. I’m excited.

Mark Mulder will provide commentary with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez for an ESPN Wednesday Baseball matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN/WatchESPN.

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