The Hutch Award was created in 1965 in honor of the late Fred Hutchinson, a former major league baseball player and manager, who died of cancer the previous year at the age of 45. "Hutch" had won 95 games as a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, and then became a manager of three different major league clubs, including the World Champion 1961 Cincinnati Reds.
The Hutch Award is given annually to the major-league baseball player who best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire of Hutch. Mickey Mantle accepted the inaugural award in 1965, with Hall-of-Famers Sandy Koufax, Carl Yastrezemski, Al Kaline and Wille McCovey among those who have received the Award.
Joe Torre (1971) and Lou Brock (1979) are former Cardinals among the 41 past winners of the Hutch Award. Houston's Craig Biggio was recognized in 2005.
The 2006 Hutch Award finalists:
- Ken Griffey, Jr., Cincinnati Reds
- Orlando Hudson, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
- Mark Loretta, Boston Red Sox
- Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
- Brad Radke, Minnesota Twins
- Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles
- Jim Thome, Chicago White Sox
- Dontrelle Willis, Florida Marlins
- Barry Zito, Oakland A's
The Hutch Award Luncheon, held on the left field playing surface of Seattle's Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners, attracts baseball stars past and present and can be attended by fans, too. It scheduled on Thursday, January 25, 2007.
Funds raised through sponsorships and individual donations at the 2007 Hutch Award Luncheon benefit The Gregory Fund® for early cancer-detection research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Center - named in Hutch's honor by his brother Bill, a surgeon - is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the understanding, treatment and prevention of cancer and other potentially fatal diseases.
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