The Hutch Award® was created in 1965 in honor of the late Fred Hutchinson, the courageous and inspirational former Major League Baseball player and manager, who died of cancer one year earlier at the age of 45.
A fiery competitor who earned respect with his no-nonsense command, "Hutch" won 95 games as a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and later managed three big-league clubs. His greatest achievement was piloting the Cincinnati Reds to the World Series in 1961.
In December 1963, Hutch detected small lumps in his throat and upper chest. He sought help from his brother, Dr. Bill Hutchinson, a medical doctor and cancer researcher. Hutch was told he had no more than a year to live.
Hutch returned to Cincinnati determined to manage the Reds. He received treatment on a regular basis but decided to conceal the true nature of his illness. He told his team and the media that he had been given a clean bill of health.
By mid-season, however, Hutch's illness had overcome him. He was forced to stop traveling, and the team finished under the direction of Coach Dick Sisler. After the season ended, Hutch returned to Florida where he died Nov. 12, 1964.
One year after his death, the Hutch Award was created by Hutch's longtime friends Bob Prince, broadcaster of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jim Enright, Chicago sportswriter; and Ritter Collett, sports editor of the Dayton Journal Herald. They also created a scholarship fund for medical students engaged in cancer research to honor Hutch's memory.
The Hutch Award is now presented each year in Seattle, Hutch's hometown and the site of the renowned cancer center that bears his name. The award is hosted by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and is bestowed annually at the Hutch Award Luncheon to raise vital funds for cancer research.