There is some nice news out of the Pacific Northwest in that A’s reliever Sean Doolittle is one of the 10 finalists for the Hutch Award.
For those of you who haven’t heard of this particular award, it’s a big deal, if for no other reason that the names who have won it already – the first three winners were Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax and Carl Yastrzemski. In all, 11 members of the Hall of Fame have been given the award, given to a Major League player who “best exemplified the fighting spirit and competitive desire of Fred Hutchinson by persevering through adversity.’’
The award is named for former big league starting pitcher and manager Fred Hutchinson and was created in 1965, a year after Hutchinson died of lung cancer. The award is a fund raiser for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Clinic in Seattle.
Twice the award has been given to an A’s player, in 1992 to Carney Lansford and in 2000 to Jason Giambi. Last year’s award went to the Giants’ Barry Zito.
What’s nice about the award is that the recipient is given a tour of the facility and interacts with the kids who are dealing with cancer on a very personal level as patients or as brothers or sisters of patients.
I’ve covered these for the last 13 years, and have yet to meet a player who hasn’t come away from the January event humbled by the strength and the determination of these children.
Others nominated include Jeremy Affeldt (San Francisco Giants), Craig Breslow (Boston Red Sox), Neal Cotts (Texas Rangers), John Danks (Chicago White Sox), Alex Gordon (Kansas City Royals), Raul Ibanez (Seattle Mariners), Scott Kazmir (Cleveland Indians), Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates), and Jason Motte (St. Louis Cardinals).
In all, 11 players who have won the MVP award have also won the Hutch Award.