Astros' star honored at Safeco Field

All-Star Craig Biggio receives Center's 2005 Hutch Award at annual luncheon
Rick Hutchinson presents Craig Biggio with 2005 Hutch Award
Rick Hutchinson (right), son of the late Fred Hutchinson, presents the 2005 Hutch Award to Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros. Biggio told the crowd about a childhood friend with leukemia and his desire, ever since, to one day be in a position to help young cancer patients and their families. Photo by Dean Forbes

Craig Biggio, the Houston Astros All-Star second baseman, was honored on Feb. 1 at the annual Hutch Award Luncheon at Safeco Field. Johnny Bench, the Hall of Fame "Catcher of the Century," served as keynote speaker. Dr. Paul Lampe of the Center's Public Health Sciences Division spoke about early cancer-detection research.

The event raised more than $250,000 for The Gregory Fund for early cancer-detection research at the Hutchinson Center. More than 900 people were in attendance.

The Astros drafted Biggio in the first round in 1987. He became their 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, he helped Houston clinch the National League Championship and reach the World Series for the first time in team history.

The Hutch Award was established in 1965 and is given annually to a major-league baseball player who best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire of the late baseball great Fred Hutchinson. Past Hutch Award winners include Jamie Moyer, Trevor Hoffman, Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Carl Yastremski and Bench.

General Motors Corporation is the presenting sponsor of the Hutch Award Luncheon. Sponsors include Costco Wholesale, Chris & Donna Ishii, Union Bank of California, KIRO Television, Sports Radio 950 KJR and American Airlines.

KIRO 7 airs Hutch Award special Feb. 4

KIRO 7 television will air a special on the Hutch Award at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 4. The Safeco Field celebration honors Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros and features special guest Johnny Bench. Researchers and patients will be highlighted in a segment on the promise of Hutchinson Center's early cancer-detection research.

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