As proficient as Hudson was with the A's, compiling a 92-39 record with them in his first six big league seasons, he cemented his reputation as a top pitcher by maintaining admirable consistency with Atlanta. The right-hander won at least 11 games in all but two seasons, finishing 113-72 while with the Braves.
"It was nine really good years over there, so it's still really special to me," Hudson said on Thursday.
Hudson would probably feel that way about the Braves even if he never played for them, since he grew up rooting for them as a youth in Alabama. Hudson cited Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and manager Bobby Cox as some of the Braves with whom he was thrilled to join forces.
"I think anyone who plays this game would enjoy playing for his childhood team that he pulled for," Hudson said.
Hudson will approach Friday's matchup with relatively little sentimentality, however. He said that opposing the Braves won't distract him, particularly since few of his former teammates -- including Andrelton Simmons, Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson -- remain with the club.
"I'll prepare like I always do and compete like I always try to do," Hudson said.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.