Purgatory Online

Friday, April 23, 2004

There's a fairly intriguing article in today's L.A. Times by Bill Plaschke (hey, and Darin Erstad put good wood on a breaking ball last night!) about Angels' broadcaster Rex Hudler's life after his bust for marijuana possession last August.

Here's what I find most interesting:

For example, for the first time since he was a senior in high school, he no longer smokes marijuana.

Hudler says he never smoked much, rarely on the road, never before games, and would sometimes go an entire season without smoking. But during his 20-year pro career and five-year broadcasting stint with the Angels, he said dope was always somewhere in the background, even if only for a few tokes at night to help him sleep.

"It made me feel good, it relaxed me," he said. "It was easy, there was no real side effect. I knew it was wrong, but I liked it."

This work involves far more than 130 broadcasts. Hudler is on the front lines in the stadium concourses and the community.

He does so much charity work — particularly for Down syndrome, which afflicts his son Cade — that ordering him to do community service is like telling him to brush his teeth.

He has such an old-fashioned relationship with fans that when he sees someone who doesn't look happy, he gives them a baseball.

So here's a guy who's been smoking dope since he was a senior in high school. He was never addicted - "would sometimes go an entire season without smoking," in fact. He became a major league baseball player for parts of 14 seasons, including a 1996 campaign in which he batted .311 in 302 at-bats. He became a fan favorite as an announcer, does extensive charity work, is a devoted family man, and maintains a permanent optimism and energy.

See how marijuana will ruin your life?

I know, I know, off topic...