Hutch Award Luncheon


50th Annual Hutch Award® Nominees

John Danks, Chicago White Sox

Position: Pitcher
MLB Debut: April 8, 2007
Record: 9 – 11
ERA: 5.05
Strikeouts: 115

John Danks has worked to build a lasting impact both on and off-the-field and is a strong role model for youth as well as his peers in proud support of clean, doping-free baseball. As a member of the Taylor Hooton Foundation's All Me League advisory board, Danks demonstrates his stance against the use of appearance and performance enhancing drugs and his belief in winning with healthy lifelong alternatives. This commitment to a healthy lifestyle is also evident in his partnership with Oral Health America to promote the National Spit Tobacco Education Program that educates the baseball community and the public about the dangers of smokeless tobacco. As an active member in True Heroes, Danks further demonstrates his dedication to the community by visiting veterans at local military VA hospitals and hosting military families at U.S. Cellular Field. He also shaves his head each spring training in support of St. Baldrick's commitment to find cures for childhood cancers.

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Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers

Position: Pitcher
MLB Debut: June 18, 2007
Record: 8 – 10
ERA: 3.59
Strikeouts: 131

Yovani Gallardo participates in a variety of philanthropic and community outreach efforts.  Among these, Gallardo has donated game tickets to Milwaukee-area youth groups, helped purchase uniforms for the Felix Mantilla Little League and participated in Team Muscle events for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Since his mother’s passing from cancer in 2013, Gallardo has supported Stillwaters Cancer Support Services in Waukesha, Wisc., the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse, Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure, and wears a pink necklace each time he pitches in memory of his mother.

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Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals

Position: Leftfield
MLB Debut: April 2, 2007
Batting Average: .271
Hits: 141
Home Runs: 19
RBI: 67

Alex Gordon has a soft spot in his heart for those battling cancer, as his mother is a breast cancer survivor.  Gordon has been a supporter of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for eight years. The foundation emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott and since 2000, has raised more than $80 million toward finding a cure. Gordon and his wife Jamie, are also supporters of the Diamond Dawgs, a 12-and-under baseball team from his hometown of Lincoln, Neb., that raise awareness for breast cancer by donning pink jerseys and raising money for the American Cancer Society. In addition to his own charitable interests, Gordon is a loyal supporter of his teammates’ charitable endeavors, appearing and donating to their initiatives as well. He embodies the values and commitment both on and off the field that the Royals strive to be as an organization in the Kansas City community and region.

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Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates

Position: Third Base
MLB Debut: May 31, 2011
Batting Average: .318
Hits: 156
Home Runs: 13
RBI: 52

Josh Harrison uses everything he has when he is playing baseball and embodies the professionalism that separates Major Leaguers from ballplayers. His energy is contagious and he has a genuine passion for the game. Harrison is the type of player that puts his team at the top of his priorities and focuses on what he can do to help the team rather than focusing on his personal statistics. Off the field, Harrison works with the Dreambuilders Foundation, a non-profit working with schools in the Pittsburgh area to provide support for disadvantaged children. 

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Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

Position: Pitcher
MLB Debut: August 4, 2005
Record: 14 – 5
ERA: 2.07
Strikeouts: 236

Since arriving in Seattle, Felix Hernandez has visited hundreds of children with life-threatening medical conditions at local hospitals and granted numerous wishes for them through the Make-A-Wish Foundation bringing them hope and joy. In addition to his Make-A-Wish work, he also helps raise funds and awareness for Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund. For the last five years, Hernandez has served as a spokesman for the Refuse To Abuse campaign with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to promote healthy, respectful relationships. This year, he also teamed up with Grammy Award-winning recording artist and Seattle native Macklemore to promote #ChangeTheGame to help address the issue of bullying in schools. Students who took the anti-bullying pledge were then entered into a contest to meet the two stars. 

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Dan Jennings, Miami Marlins

Position: Pitcher
MLB Debut: April 30, 2012
Record: 0 – 2
ERA: 1.38
Strikeouts: 36

In early August, Dan Jennings was struck in the head by a comeback line drive that sent him crumbling to the ground. Jennings was diagnosed with a concussion and placed on the disabled list. After overcoming this traumatic experience, he returned to the mound and shows no ill effects from the incident. Off the field, Jennings is one of the official spokesmen of the Marlins Faith Night where he and some of his fellow teammates meet with fans to give testimonials about their faith and the areas of life that are truly important. Jennings is also a regular participant in the Marlins Youth Baseball Clinic series, where he provides pitching instruction to youth on Saturday mornings prior to the team’s game that night. 

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Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

Position: Catcher
MLB Debut: April 5, 2004
Batting Average: .272
Hits: 113
Home Runs: 4
RBI: 46

Joe Mauer was born and raised in St. Paul, Minn., and continues to live and give back to his hometown. Mauer serves as the spokesman for the Highland Friendship Club, an organization dedicated to providing work and recreation opportunities to people with developmental disabilities.  He also supports Friends of St. Paul Baseball, an organization that helps improve youth baseball facilities in St. Paul. Mauer and his wife Maddie, recently renovated a play room at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare Hospital. The room is designed to provide pediatric patients of the hospital a break from their medical treatments. In partnership with Volunteers of America, Mauer acts as a spokesman and mentor to the MLB Player’s Association’s Action Team working with high school students to recruit others to volunteer in their community. In addition to all of this, he has also established a community ticket program providing game tickets to thousands of economically disadvantaged youth from Minneapolis and St. Paul.  

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Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds

Position: Catcher
MLB Debut: September 3, 2011
Batting Average: .280
Hits: 100
Home Runs: 23
RBI: 74

Devin Mesoraco is known for giving 100 percent each and every day and has a dedication to his team, community and family, that never falters. He visits with guests from the Make-A-Wish Foundation every home stand and also visits the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in his free time. Throughout the season Mesoraco has participated in various community events such as Reds Day at the Cincinnati Zoo, Reds Baseball Camps and the Reds Rookie Success League, a youth baseball and softball camp with an emphasis on character building. No matter what it is, Mesoraco is always willing to lend a hand in the community.  

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Roberto Perez, Cleveland Indians

Position: Catcher
MLB Debut: July 10, 2014
Batting Average: .257
Hits: 18
Home Runs: 1
RBI: 4

In 2013, Roberto Perez was diagnosed with Bell's palsy in the middle of the season. A form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunction of the cranial nerve, Bell’s palsy caused Perez to suffer partial paralysis of the left side of his face, resulting in not being able to close his eye for months. Regardless of his condition, Perez showed great selflessness and insisted on playing through the condition because he wanted to help the team win. A year later, he has continued to battle through this adversity and has become a pivotal player for the Indians. Praised by his teammates and coaches, Perez has kept an unbelievably positive attitude and is happy to be able to continue to contribute to his team. 

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Sergio Romo, San Francisco Giants

Position: Pitcher
MLB Debut: June 26, 2008
Record: 5 – 4
ERA: 4.00
Strikeouts: 56

Sergio Romo has become a staple for the Giants on the field, but it is his selfless performance off the field that has allured the local San Francisco community. Romo is actively involved with the Athletes in Math Succeed program, which was created to inspire minority male high school students to challenge themselves academically, be role models for elementary school children, prepare to complete a college degree, and become community leaders with a purpose. He has also contributed to many other youth programs and initiatives including Mission Graduate, a program that provides students resources on how to get into college who may not have ever had the chance to go. Romo has made giving back to the community a priority, with his philanthropic involvement spread far and wide including meet and greets, answering hundreds of little leaguer's questions at the ballpark throughout the season and participating in Make-A-Wish Foundation activities.

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