Pujols One of Ten Hutch Award Finalists

The Cardinals first baseman has again been named a finalist for an award recognizing fighting spirit and competitive desire.

As the regular season has ended, the awards season is ramping up. St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols will often be heard in conjunction with any number of different recognitions across the baseball landscape.

There is at least one award which the slugger has not yet won. Pujols heads up a list of ten finalists for the prestigious Hutch Award for 2009, which will be announced next month and presented in Seattle in January.

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 44 past winners of the Hutch Award. Boston's Jon Lester, a cancer survivor, was recognized in 2008. Pujols was also a finalist in 2006.

The 2009 Hutch Award finalists:

• Jonny Gomes, Cincinnati Reds
• Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves
• Torii Hunter, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
• Mark Lowe, Seattle Mariners
• Mike Lowell, Boston Red Sox
• Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles
• Kevin Millwood, Texas Rangers
• Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
• Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
• Mark Teahen, Kansas City Royals

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 Wednesday, January 27, 2010.

Funds raised through sponsorships and individual donations at the 2010 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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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.


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