There was a time when the mention of “Hutch,” as Fred Hutchinson was known, conjured instant images of winning baseball. He was a top-flight major league pitcher and manager whose career was cut short by cancer.
In the golden era of Pacific Coast League baseball, Fred’s performance for the Seattle Rainiers in 1938 assumed legendary status. He amassed a sterling 25-7 record, winning his 19th game on his 19th birthday in front of a record crowd that lined the outfield fences three rows deep at Sick's Stadium in Seattle.
Fred then earned national fame with the Detroit Tigers, winning 95 games over 11 years and notching 18- and 17-win seasons in 1947 and 1950. He later managed the Seattle Rainiers and the major league Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, which he piloted to the World Series in 1961.
Tragically, the man known for his tenacity, winning determination and courage died of cancer in 1964.
Emmett Watson, Fred’s friend and a former high school catcher who became Seattle's preeminent newspaper columnist, once quoted Hutch as saying: “The ones who work the hardest are the ones who make it, the ones who win. Sometimes that's the only difference. If you don’t work hard at this game, you might as well hang them up. Sweat is your only salvation.”
Baseball’s Hutch Award
The Hutch Award was created in 1965 in honor of Fred Hutchinson. The award is given each year to a major league player who best exemplifies Hutch’s honor, courage and dedication. Read more about the Hutch Award.