SEATTLE — Nov. 21, 2005 — The Houston Astros' Craig Biggio, the only baseball player ever to be named an All-Star both as catcher and second baseman, will be the recipient of the prestigious Hutch Award in February.
The Hutch Award was established in 1965 to honor baseball great Fred Hutchinson and is given annually to a major-league baseball player who best exemplifies his fighting spirit and competitive desire. Fred Hutchinson's brother Bill, a prominent oncologist, founded the Hutchinson Center in Fred's name after Fred died of cancer at age 45.
"Craig Biggio is the consummate team player and a strong clubhouse leader within the Astros organization," said Bob Adamonis, chair of the Hutch Award committee. "Craig's fighting spirit is expressed through his versatility. He'll agree to change positions on the baseball field, blowing everyone away by excelling at every new position he tries. He inspires his teammates by his willingness to do whatever it takes to win a game. On top of that, Craig is by all accounts an active and compassionate player in the community."
Biggio, renowned as a Houston Astros "Killer B" along with teammates Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman, was drafted by the Astros in the first round in 1987. He became the Astros' starting catcher and made the All-Star team in 1991. At spring training in 1992 Biggio was persuaded to try second base; that very year he again made the All-Star team.
Biggio, who led the Majors in runs scored in 1995 and 1997 and doubles in 1994, 1998 and 1999, is at the top of the Astros career list in games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits and doubles. In 2005, his leadership helped Houston claim the National League Championship and reach the World Series for the first time in team history.
In 1999, Biggio was selected by a panel of experts as the franchise's second baseman on the All-Astrodome team. Biggio went on to be inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame earlier this year.
In recognition of his charitable efforts Biggio was named one of The Sporting News' Good Guys in 2004. He and his wife, Patty, are active in The Sunshine Kids, a support organization for children with cancer and their families, raising $1.8 million dollars for the group by hosting the annual Sunshine Kids Celebrity Golf Classic. The Biggios also hold an annual baseball party at Minute Maid Park, at which more than 100 children with cancer play baseball with Biggio serving as pitcher, and a holiday party at the Sunshine Kids house that the Biggios helped restore and furnish.
Biggio will be honored at the annual Hutch Award Luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1 at Safeco Field in Seattle. General Motors Corporation is the presenting sponsor of the luncheon. Funds raised through the Hutch Award Luncheon go to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Gregory Fund for early cancer-detection research. The Gregory Fund was established in 2003 as a collaboration of the Hutchinson Center and The Moyer Foundation, founded by Seattle Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen.
Past Hutch Award winners include Moyer, Trevor Hoffman, Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Carl Yastremski, and Johnny Bench, who will keynote the luncheon.
For more information visit the Hutch Award webpage.
Photos of Biggio are available upon request.
Christi Ball Loso
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit www.fhcrc.org.