Tyanna Hudson, Frankford High’s brilliant softball player, is looking forward to Sunday, April 15, at Citizens Bank Park when the Philadelphia Phillies hold a special ceremony in honor of Jackie Robinson prior to the start of the Phillies–New York Mets game. Sunday is the 65th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. On April 15, 1947, he made his first appearance with the Brooklyn Dodgers, opening the doors for African Americans in the major leagues.
Hudson will be a part of the Phillies big salute to Robinson. The Phillies will present Hudson with the Jackie Robinson Scholarship. This is quite an honor for the Public League standout, who also plays for the Phillies RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) softball team.
“It should be exciting,” Hudson said. “I’m really happy about going down there for the game and Jackie Robinson Day. I was actually surprised that I got it. I know a lot of people who had applied for it. I was really happy and excited when I first found out. Everybody in my family had known about it except for me. So, when I found out everyone was congratulating me on winning the scholarship. I was trying to figure out why everyone was congratulating me. It was really overwhelming. I was so happy that day, nothing could bring me down. I really appreciate it.”
Hudson started playing softball as an 8-year-old at the Frankford Boys Club. At the time, she was a cheerleader and wasn’t playing softball. Her mother, Carla Hudson, encouraged her to play the game. As a result, Hudson grew to like the game and has developed into a pretty good player.
“My mother asked to give softball a try,” Hudson said. “I had to learn how to catch. I got hit in the face with the ball. So, I had to learn how to do that. Throughout the year, I became a better player. I notice my ability to play and get stronger at batting.
“I tried out for Philly Flash about three or four years after I started playing softball when I was 13. I didn’t get picked for the team. So, my mom told me to try out for the Phillies RBI team. Once I got down there they fell in love with me. They wanted to make me into a strong power hitter. That’s when I got introduced to tournament baseball. They had fast pitching and everything. That’s when I knew I loved the game.”
Hudson plays two positions, catcher and third base. The Phillies RBI softball team has allowed her to play against some great competition and travel to play in different cities.
“It was a good experience,” Hudson said. “Actually, playing at the tournament level, I got a chance to meet a lot of people. I got to travel to Florida. I had a chance to meet people from all different areas like Puerto Rico and Minnesota. It was really fun.
“Last year, we made it to the regionals and got to the tournament championship game and lost to Harrisburg. It was pretty upsetting, but we got over it. We’re hoping to get back in it again this year. If we would have won the regionals, we would have gone to the World Series in Minnesota. The year before we played in the World Series and that was in Palm Beach, Florida. We played the regionals in Washington, D.C.”
In addition to playing baseball for the Phillies RBI softball team, Hudson is a marvelous player for Frankford High School. She is a three-time All-Public League selection and a two-time Public League representative in the Carpenter Cup.
The Frankford High senior will attend Lackawanna College, a junior college in Scranton, Pa. She plans to play softball in college.
“Lackawanna has good atmosphere,” Hudson said. “It’s far away, but not too far away. I want to go there and play softball for two years. Then, I want to transfer out to a school where I can play. I’ll have my associate degree. I want to major in human services and become a social worker for people with disabilities. I have to give my mother a lot of credit. She has helped me out so much. She is the reason I made it this far.”
Hudson will go a long way with help from her mother as well as some assistance from the Jackie Robinson Scholarship.