The 37-year-old righty sat in an empty family waiting room of an equally empty Turner Field, a full five hours before Saturday's game against the Giants.

He was here to discuss his remarkable longevity in a game that is often punctuated by one-hit wonders, would-be stars that fizzled before they dazzled.

Tim Hudson didn't fizzle. Why?

"For anybody to have a long career in Major League Baseball, you have to take care of yourself," Hudson said. "You have to, obviously, work hard. You have to have the talent to be here, but the one thing that separates long careers from short careers is being able to take care of yourself; [to] understand that you need to work out. You need to prepare every day.

"The other thing is that you have to learn from your mistakes. A lot of kids, when they come up here, they've been successful their whole career, whether it was high school or college or the Minor Leagues. A lot of times, this is the first time that they struggle. It's the first time they go out there and they're not 'the man.' They are playing with the best players in the world. And they struggle and they have a hard time making those adjustments."

Hudson says, however, that learning from mistakes is not enough on its own. You have to be able to adapt and change and put the lessons into action on the field. That's no easy task for players who often have dominated throughout their careers.

"The one thing that you have to do is put your pride to the side," Hudson said. "At times throughout your career, you have to reinvent yourself. You have to do some things you didn't normally do early in your career. And I was no different. I had to go out there and make some changes with my pitching style, my repertoire [and] just do whatever I could to get people out."

Age and innings have a way of wearing on power pitchers, and when the power goes, the pitcher must adapt or go with it.

"In my younger days, I was a power sinker guy. I threw a sinker that was 91 to 94 [mph], and it had some really good action on it," Hudson explained. "That's a pitch for me that, early in my career, if I was locating it down in the zone and I was staying behind it and having good action on it ... out of 100 pitches, I could throw it maybe 85 times. 'Here it is, hit it.' And if you hit it, it's probably going to be on the ground.