In high school, Adam Wainwright was an athletic and academic standout at Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Georgia. A multi-sport athlete, Wainwright excelled in football, but with a fastball over 90 mph and a batting average over .500 at times, his future would lie in baseball, and in 2000 he was named the Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year. He garnered considerable interest from colleges and universities offering both academic and baseball scholarships, but when the Atlanta Braves selected him 29th overall in the first round of the 2000 MLB draft, Wainwright chose to forgo college and head straight to the pros.
In 2006, Wainwright made the St. Louis Cardinals’ opening day roster as a relief pitcher, and he became a closer late in his rookie season, saving the series-clinching game of both the National League Championship Series and World Series. The following season, Wainwright returned to starting pitching, a role in which he has remained, except for 2011, which he missed due to Tommy John surgery.
Wainwright has emerged as an ace and has led the National League multiple times in wins, innings pitched and games started. He has multiple top-10 finishes in earned run average, strikeouts and complete games. In 2014, Wainwright became the first pitcher in Major League history to post nine of his first 18 starts with seven innings pitched and no runs allowed. Over his career, Wainwright has won more than 100 games, is a three-time All-Star selection, has won two Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and has finished in the top three in Cy Young Award balloting four different times. With 1,326 strikeouts in his career to date, Wainwright is second only to Bob Gibson in Cardinals franchise history for strikeouts.
Wainwright and his wife put their charitable energies into the Adam & Jenny Wainwright 25:35 Foundation, which got its start after he took a personal interest in helping build an orphanage and clean-water project for survivors of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The foundation grew out of this initial effort and still primarily supports orphanages and, through Water Missions International, clean water projects in needy areas around the world.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is honored to welcome and pay tribute to Adam Wainwright as the 51st Hutch Award® winner.