For longtime fans of the Oakland A's, this weekend will be one to remember. On Saturday, two-thirds of the A's famed "Big Three" will square off in what is likely the final starts in both Tim Hudson's and Barry Zito's storied careers. Then on Sunday, the A's will honor the Big Three in a pre-game ceremony that will include a video tribute and a special presentation from current Special Assistant to the General Manager Grady Fuson, who was the A's Scouting Director when Hudson (1997), Mark Mulder (1998) and Zito (1999) were drafted. All three pitchers will throw out ceremonial first pitches.
The A's announced on Tuesday that Zito would start the Saturday match-up against the Giants and Hudson. Zito made his first big league appearance since 2013 in a relief outing on Sunday. It was the first regular season game Zito had pitched for the A's since 2006. Hudson has already announced his retirement at the end of this season and Zito is expected to retire, as well. He had decided to retire at the end of the minor league season before the A's called him up last week. Mulder retired after injury problems in 2008. He attempted a comeback with the Angels last spring but tore his Achilles in a conditioning drill. He is currenly a broadcaster for ESPN.
The Big Three won a combined 275 games for the A's from 1999-2006. Oakland made the playoffs from 2000-2003 with all three pitchers in the rotation and made the American League Championship Series in 2006 with Zito as the team's number one starter. All three were a big part of the team's historic 20-game winning streak in 2002. Zito won the AL Cy Young award that season.